Livestock Dept hoses down rabies vaccine fear

Livestock Dept hoses down rabies vaccine fear

12.2m doses prepared for all pets, strays

The Department of Livestock Development on Wednesday assured the public rabies vaccine was sufficient for the more than 10 million dogs and cats across the country.

Department director-general Apai Suttisunk yesterday said over 12.2 million doses of rabies vaccine have been prepared for mass vaccinations for animals nationwide. Each pet requires only one dose of vaccine injection.

The department has ordered state agencies to speed up efforts to provide the vaccine. The public was urged to bring their pets for a vaccine injection to prevent the deadly disease.

So far, rabies has claimed four lives across the country, according to Disease Control Department (DCD) director-general Suwanchai Watthanayingcharoenchai. The latest victim was a resident of the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

According to the DCD, the number of victims who died from rabies is not related to a specific period or season. The cause of death is direct exposure to the infectious animals.

The authority has declared 37 provinces as temporary rabies epidemic zones, said Dr Apai, while urging the public to remain calm as the rabies epidemic zone in each province is only within a five kilometre radius of where rabid patients or animals have been found.

Dr Suwanchai also advised people who are exposed to animals or bitten or scratched by them to clean their wounds and see a doctor to have the vaccine as soon as possible.

Three tambons in Nakhon Phanom were declared temporary epidemic zones yesterday after a dog which bit a man in tambon Phum Kae of Na Kae district early this month was found to be infected with rabies.

The three tambons are Phum Kae and Si Chomphu in Na Kae district and Na Nad in That Phanom district. They are within a five kilometre radius of where the man was bitten.

The declaration was issued by the Nakhon Phanom Provincial Livestock Office.

Under the Animal Epidemics Act, the removal of animals or carcasses from an epidemic zone is prohibited unless specifically permitted by authorities. The announcement took effect on Tuesday and would expire on April 12.

Kidsamai Posan, 52, of Ban Non Hang in tambon Phum Kae, was bitten by a stray dog last Friday. The dog was reported to be attacking other canines and people in Moo 7, 8 and 12 of tambon Phum Kae. The dog was later put down and tests revealed the animal was rabid.

In Prachuap Khiri Khan, five tambons in three out of eight districts in the seaside tourist province were yesterday declared as rabies surveillance zones after rabid animals were found.

They are tambons Hua Hin and Hin Lek Fai of Hua Hin district, tambons Wang Pong and Nong Ta Taem of Pran Buri district and tambon Sam Roi Yot of Sam Roi Yot district.

Hua Hin deputy municipal mayor Bussaba Choksuchart, who also serves as chief of the Hua Hin Dog Shelter the agency has closely monitored thousands of stray dogs including 1,200 under its care after rabid dogs were found in coastal communities.

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