War on rabies gaining ground

2010-09-28 00:00

THE fight against rabies in KwaZulu-Natal is yielding results with this infectious disease spread by animals reduced from 463 in 2009 to 180 this year and recorded human deaths down to three in 2010.

Speaking to KZN Rabies project manager Kevin Le Roux told The Witness yesterday that with the help of the Bill Gates Foundation and the Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development Department, KZN is making good progress in the fight against rabies and that the aim is to completely eliminate the infectious disease.

Today is World Rabies Day, and Le Roux said the challenge is to make people aware that in unvaccinated humans, rabies is almost always fatal after neurological symptoms have developed.

He said that people need to be aware of rabies, vaccinate their dogs and seek urgent medical help when bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid animal.

While cases of the infectious disease are not alarming in Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands area, Le Roux said the disease is a cause for concern along the south coast and in areas around Ladysmith.

He said a massive vaccination programme has resumed in the Edendale and Sweetwaters areas. The Witness was told yesterday that 293 331 vaccinations were conducted between January and August this year in the city and surrounding areas.

The Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development Department said in a statement yesterday that rabies has the highest death rate of any infectious disease, adding that every human who contracts the disease will die a painful death if not treated in time.

According to the department, there are over 50 000 deaths of humans from rabies worldwide.

The department will today embark on a joint World Rabies Day cross-border vaccination campaign with the Swaziland veterinary authorities at the Golela-Swaziland border post.

The campaign is part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation rabies eradication programme in the province.

The foundation has provided funding to the tune of R20 million for the rabies programme in the province.

The initiative also covers other primary animal healthcare issues and is an ongoing campaign between KZN and neighbouring countries.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.