‘Vaccinate dogs, cats’

2019-01-21 16:50
A file image of a dog named Simba at the Chase Valley Vet.

A file image of a dog named Simba at the Chase Valley Vet. (Facebook)

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Following last year’s outbreak of rabies across the province, KwaZulu-Natal has already had 10 cases of rabies in dogs this year so far, according to the latest rabies report.

Last year saw the death of eight people; six children and two young adults in their early 20s.

The rabies death toll among animals in the province last year reached 203 which included goats, cows, cats, and dogs.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development rabies project manager Kevin le Roux had estimated at the start of 2018 that the number of rabies cases in animals would reach around 230 at the rate it was spreading last year.

This year there have so far been 10 postive rabies cases in animals recorded, however, no cases in humans have been reported at this stage. People are encouraged to continue to educate their children and themselves about the dangers of interacting with strange animals.

The rabies virus can be transferred from the rabid animal to another via a bite, a scratch that breaks the skin and even the saliva of a rabid animal.

The public is urged to vaccinate their dogs and cats against rabies, thus preventing an outbreak and the possibility of more human deaths.

Le Roux said previously that although people often worried about monkeys contracting and carrying rabies, the state vet had not diagnosed a monkey with rabies in 42 years.

While monkeys could potentially become victims of rabies he felt they played no role in the spread of the deadly virus.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rabies

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