Rabies on the rise, vaccinations urged
By The Nation
All professionals who work with animals have been urged to get vaccinated against rabies, as has anyone visiting areas where there are rabies outbreaks.
Department of Medical Sciences director-general Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai made the appeal on Tuesday to veterinarians, staff at pet hospitals and animal labs, and caretakers of strays.
Rabies, a disease transmitted through the saliva or other bodily fluid of an infected animal, can be prevented after exposure by vaccination with an immunoglobulin serum, he noted.
But people in regular direct contact with animals should be vaccinated as a precaution before any possible exposure and then again if they are exposed, Sukhum said.
Rabies is on the rise in Thailand. There were 330 reported cases of rabies-affected animals in 2015, 614 in 2016 and 843 in 2017.
Dogs were the most infected (89 per cent), followed by cattle (6.6 per cent), cats (3.6 per cent) and others (0.7 per cent).
Rabies caused five human deaths in 2015, 14 in 2016 and eight in 2017, Dr Sukhum said.
Last month a schoolteacher in Muang Surin who had five dogs at home and often fed stray dogs died as a result of a rabies infection.
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