|A woman is vaccinated against rabies at VNVC Hoàng Văn Thụ Vaccination Centre in HCM City on February 7, 2023. — VNS Photo Thu Hằng|
HCM CITY — Increasing cases of animal attacks have resulted in a rise in rabies vaccinations at hospitals and immunisation centres in HCM City, doctors said.
The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City received nearly 1,900 people getting rabies vaccines during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Bùi Hoàng Trương, deputy head of the hospital’s General Planning Department, attributed the increase in rabies vaccinations to rising attacks of domestic dogs or cats during Tết when people came to visit their relatives and friends.
The public awareness of the disease has been raised significantly, pushing them to get rabies vaccines after an exposure, Trương said.
Chương Anh Đức, from the city’s Tân Phú District, came to the hospital for vaccination on February 7 after he was scratched by a domestic dog at his friend’s house one day earlier.
His father worried that the dog has not been vaccinated against rabies and took him to the hospital to get the rabies vaccine.
VNVC’s network of 101 immunisation centres nationwide reported that it saw an increase in the number of patients by more than 300 per cent in the first week after the one-week Tết holiday that ended in January 26 compared to the previous month.
Doctors said there is currently no effective treatment for rabies, but the disease is preventable through vaccination.
Dr. Nguyễn Thị Cúc, head of VNVC Hoàng Văn Thụ Vaccination Centre, said if you’ve been bitten or scratched by a wild animal or unvaccinated pet, you should wash animal bites or scratches immediately with soap and water and then visit a medical facility as soon as possible. — VNS