HealthNews

Three die of rabies in A/R

Most of the cases are not reported

Three people have died of rabies in the Ashanti Region since the beginning of the year, the regional directorate of Veterinary Services has said.

It added that the figure could be high as many cases in local communities are not reported.

Rabies is a disease transmitted through the bite of rabid animals, especially dogs.

The Ashanti Region is estimated to have a dog population of 327,704.

In 2016, about 10,747 of these dogs were vaccinated.

Over the period, 30 cases of the preventable viral disease were recorded. Eighteen tested positive while 12 were negative with eight deaths recorded.

So far, 15 cases have been recorded this year with three deaths; four were positive and 11 negative.

As a preventive measure, the Veterinary Service has established 30 rabies centres backed by five private facilities to efficiently handle dog bites and provide other veterinary services.

Regional Vet Director Dr Emmanuel Edward Effah has encouraged the public to report any dog bite to the designated centres for action.

He expressed discomfort with pet owners in their slow response to get their animals immunized.

Dr. Effah fears many could die from the disease if funds are not release for the mass vaccination of dogs and cats in the region.

He described the situation as alarming because “we are not vaccinating many more pets as we used to do 12-15 years ago; even the human deaths are very alarming”.

By Benjamin Aidoo|3news.com|Kumasi, A/R|Ghana

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