Rabies claims two lives in KZN

01 March 2018 - 11:04 By Nivashni Nair
The provincial agriculture and rural development department said the children were bitten by a rabid dog and cat.
The provincial agriculture and rural development department said the children were bitten by a rabid dog and cat.
Image: reddogs/123rf.com

Two children have died from rabies in KwaZulu-Natal.

The provincial agriculture and rural development department said the children were bitten by a rabid dog and cat.

"Unfortunately and regrettably‚ these two cases have resulted in the loss of lives‚" said departmental spokesman Khaye Nkwanyana.

On Thursday the department warned that a new spike in rabies had been picked up along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. Nkwanyana said the cases had been detected in Durban‚ on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast‚ and Empangeni and Richards Bay areas.

"The department has been on a massive vaccination programme since October last year which began in Ndwedwe‚ Durban‚ and has proceeded to both the south and north coast of the province‚ especially in rural areas. Our state vets are hard at work in this regard‚" he said.

Nkwanyana said the department was doing all it could to cover the province in its vaccination drive. However‚ the public must not "entertain strange animals‚ in particular dogs and cats in their neighbourhood."

"They must report strange dogs and cats to our nearest local offices or to the SPCA for collection."

He said children must only play with cats and dogs that have been recently vaccinated for rabies.

"In cases where someone has received a dog or cat bite‚ no matter how minimal it may look‚ we urge them to immediately approach a clinic or hospital within less than 24 hours for rabies treatment‚" Nkwanyana said.

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