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Rabies warning sign, on stand, England, 1980-1990

‘YOU ARE ENTERING AN INFECTED AREA. RABIES.’ This sign warned of the presence of rabies, a dangerous and often fatal disease. It is caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system and causes the brain to swell. This can lead to paralysis, coma and death if untreated. Rabies can spread from infected animals to humans, usually by being bitten or licked, and dogs most commonly spread the disease. Rabies was eradicated in the UK in 1922. However, it is still present on the continent. Strict government controls on the movement of animals across borders help control the spread of rabies. The UK’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries issued this sign during the late 1980s. The ministry was dissolved in 2002. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has taken on its responsibilities.

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Glossary: rabies

Rabies is a disease which infects domestic and wild animals. It is a virus transmitted to other animals and humans through close contact with saliva from those infected (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin). Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal.

Glossary: sign

An entity that signifies another entity. Often a publicly displayed board giving information

Glossary: public health advertising

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