May, 14 2014 09:06:57

Phu Tho risks rabies outbreak

PHU THO (VNS) — The northern province of Phu Tho is facing a high risk of a rabies outbreak due to hot weather conditions, said director of the provincial Preventive Medicine Centre, Nguyen Trong Oanh.

More than 1,700 people have been diagnosed with the disease so far this year, a substantial increase of 199 cases compared with the same time last year, according to the centre's statistics.

As many as 42 people have died from the disease during the past three years, the highest number in northern area. The disease reportedly claimed ten lives last year, all of whom had not visited medical centres to receive vaccines after being bitten by rabid dogs.

"The worrying problem is that many local residents use Vietnamese traditional medicines after being bitten by mad dogs and cats instead of going to medical stations to receive the vaccine," said Oanh.

In an effort to contain the disease, the province set up a detailed plan last month to raise awareness of the disease among residents. Information on how to prevent the disease and provide first aid will be disseminated using local newspapers, provincial radio and television stations and leaflets, according to Oanh.

Around six training courses will kick off next month and in July with participation from more than 600 village heads from districts facing a high risk of the disease, such as Tam Nong, Yen Lap and Cam Khe.

A further three training courses will be held from next month for medical workers in various communes.

Meanwhile, extra workers have been assigned across 14 vaccine centres, while more than 80,000 doses of the vaccine have been provided. Pets kept in residential quarters are also being forced to receive vaccinations against the disease, while owners allowing dogs to roam the streets will incur penalties. — VNS

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