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Warning against Rabies

This much feared disease is a fatal viral disease and kills humans every year. It is transmitted via the saliva of infected mammals through bites and contact with broken skin.  It is compulsory by law for all dogs and cats to be vaccinated, Mpumalanga and especially the Lowveld is a high risk area.

The Lowveld SPCA, State Vet and local Veterinary services wishes to draw the public’s attention to the danger of RABIES and the control measures which have been instituted to prevent the spread of this dangerous disease.  There has been a considerable increase in rabies cases reported.  Areas most affected are Kabokweni, Plaston and the Karino areas and is feared to spread to other areas.  This is a real threat and public should constantly guard against it by vaccinating their animals.

The public are strongly cautioned against handling animals showing deviations from their normal behaviour – such as, for instance, wild animals which become tame and domestic animals becoming aggressive and have increased salivation or just act out of the ordinary.  Children are prone to contracting this disease because they are fond of handling animals, domestic or wild. People wishing to take animals to other provinces must have them inoculated in good time.  This is to say 30 days prior to the intended date of departure.

Pet owners are compelled by law (Animal Diseases Act 35 of 1984) to ensure that their dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies at the age of 3 months, followed by a second vaccination more than 30 days later and less than 9 months after the first vaccination and every year thereafter.  The State Vet has regular campaigns at shopping centres to create awareness.  You can also have your pets vaccinated with your local veterinarian as soon as possible.

What you should do if you get bitten is wash your wound well with running water and soap for at least 5 minutes.  Consult a doctor immediately.  Don’t wait for symptoms (headaches and fever, muscle pains, mental disorder, fear of water, difficult swallowing, paralysis, anxiety).  There is no effective treatment for humans or animals once symptoms of rabies develop and death is immanent.