THAI NGUYEN - As many as 240 deaths caused by rabies have been reported since 2010 in the northern mountainous provinces, and this high rate of fatalities is largely due to low public awareness on the threat of this fatal viral disease.
|Veterinary staff vaccinated dogs to fight against rabies in the nine towns Than Uyen, Lai Chau province.—File Photo
A campaign in the northern province of Thai Nguyen called the "World Rabies Day Initiative" aims to lower the rate of rabies cases. The one-day event raises public awareness through quiz shows and films on rabies, outlining ways to prevent and control the disease.
According to Le Dac Vinh, provincial head of the department of Animal Health, low public awareness on rabies and its preventive measures such as vaccines, along with unvaccinated and stray dogs are the main reasons for the increasing number of rabies cases.
Vinh said more than 90 per cent of rabies cases in humans are caused by unvaccinated dogs. The province has by far the highest death rate caused by rabies with over 40 fatalities.
"The disease can be readily prevented via education, pet vaccination and increased public awareness on proper treatment of wounds caused by rabid dogs and administration of rabies vaccination after exposure has occurred," said Yuriko Shoji, FAO representative in Viet Nam.
Dr Nguyen Thu Thuy, deputy director of the Animal Health Department, suggested animal owners should actively vaccinate dogs and cats, especially if their pets live close the people.
As many as 2,500 people attended the event. - VNS