Rabies cases cited in Mogale City, Gauteng — call for dogs to get jabs

30 July 2021 - 09:59 By TimesLIVE
Rabies vaccination campaigns in dogs are under way in the affected and surrounding areas of the Mogale City municipality. Stock image.
Rabies vaccination campaigns in dogs are under way in the affected and surrounding areas of the Mogale City municipality. Stock image.
Image: reddogs/123rf.com

Three humans have been treated after cases of rabies in jackals and a honey badger were reported in the west of Gauteng.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said two cases of rabies were confirmed last month in jackal from the Cradle of Humankind area.

In addition, three jackal in the same area were suspected of rabies, but not confirmed.

Rabies vaccination campaigns in dogs have since been under way in the affected and surrounding areas of the Mogale City municipality.

In the past week, rabies was confirmed in a honey badger in the same area.

“Three human exposures to the honey badger were reported,” said the NICD. “All three cases have received rabies post-exposure prophylaxis and wound care to prevent rabies infection.”

The NICD said rabies is controllable and preventable, urging people to ensure that their dogs are fully vaccinated against the disease.

If any animal is suspected to be rabid — presenting with unusual behaviour, hyper-salivation, and signs of paralysis — the public is asked to contact a veterinarian.

When possible exposures in humans occur, such as through bites or scratches inflicted by a suspected rabid animal, all wounds must be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

“It is then crucial that rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is sought immediately at a healthcare facility. Rabies post-exposure prophylaxis is considered a live-saving emergency intervention following possible rabies virus exposures.”

Rabies has been an endemic disease in SA for many years. It is reported in various parts of the country involving different animal species. Known, ongoing cycles of rabies exist in domestic dogs, black-backed jackal, mongoose species and bat-eared fox in certain parts of the country.

In Gauteng, rabies is reported infrequently in mongoose and jackal, and more often on the rural outskirts of the province.

In 2010, an extensive outbreak in domestic dogs was reported in southwestern Johannesburg, including Soweto. One human case was reported during this outbreak. The outbreak was controlled through extensive dog vaccination campaigns in the area.

In 2016, an outbreak of rabies in jackal was also reported from Mogale City, in the Muldersdrift surrounds, with few cases confirmed in domestic dog and none in humans.

TimesLIVE


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