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Another reported rabid animal brings total to 80

Another reported rabid animal brings total to 80

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Taiwan reported another confirmed rabies infection Tuesday in a Formosan ferret-badger in Taitung County, southeastern Taiwan, bringing the total number of reported cases to 80. All but one of the cases in 39 townships across eight counties and cities involved Formosan ferret-badgers. Taitung reported a rabid Asian house shrew in late July. The government is continuing to provide free vaccine to Chiayi and Taitung counties, targeting pet dogs and cats in mountainous areas there. Taiwan will have imported more than 2.27 million doses of rabies vaccine by September, sufficient to vaccinate the estimated 1.5 million dogs and cats in Taiwan, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center for Rabies. Meanwhile, health authorities have approved 1,449 applications from people seeking human rabies vaccine and 23 from those seeking rabies immune globulin since Taiwan reported the first cases of rabies infections in wild animals in mid-July. Rabies immune globulin is only administered after a bite from an infected animal or a suspected infected animal. In related news, four rabies control specialists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have arrived in Taiwan to help with Taiwan's efforts to prevent the spread of the disease. The four experts, who arrived a day earlier, were scheduled to attend a meeting called by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine later in the day to help assess the need for distributing oral rabies vaccination bait in the mountains.
They will also head to mountainous areas around Taiwan and meet with local animal experts in Miaoli, Nantou, Pingtung, Taitung and Hualien counties to help locate the habitats of wild animals, according to Chang Su-san, head of the inspection bureau. Shortly after their arrival, the specialists visited the Council of Agriculture's Animal Health Research Institute, where they said that preventive vaccination of dogs and cats is the best way to prevent humans from contracting rabies from animals. In related news, an advisory conference was scheduled to be held in Taipei Wednesday gathering local veterinarians, physicians, wildlife experts, epidemiologists and animal health inspection authorities from around Taiwan, according to the rabies command center. The experts will develop strategies for vaccine administration, the management of strays and the use of oral rabies vaccine bait. They will also analyze how rabies is transmitted among wild animals and the role house shrews play in the spread of the disease. Local animal rights groups have urged the government to quickly assess the feasibility and risks of distributing oral rabies vaccine bait in the mountains to contain the disease in light of reports of people killing animals before they have been confirmed to be infected with rabies. Thirty animal groups and college volunteers around Taiwan have offered to help the government distribute the vaccine bait, including the Life Conservationist Association and the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan. (By Yang Su-min and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-05-14 21:30 GMT+08:00