AFTER A WEEK of heightened alarm, the Department of Livestock Development said yesterday the rabies outbreak that has killed four people this year was under control and the infection rate had lowered.
Apai Sutti, director-general of the Department of Livestock Development, announced at a press conference that authorities had set a target to vaccinate 10 million dogs and cats by September and infected animals would be euthanised to prevent the spread of the disease.
As of yesterday, the department’s real-time rabies infection report showed 388 confirmed rabies cases since January 1, which was 182 cases higher than the same period last year.
Rabies had been considered under control in previous years with only 102 confirmed cases during all of 2013.
The biggest cause of this year’s rabies outbreak is the immunisation rate of dogs and cats, which has dropped below 80 per cent. That lapse was apparently due to local authorities’ confusion about who was responsible for vaccinations in 2015, which allowed the disease to spread.
According to an earlier report, Dr Teerawat Mohchuta, director of the Thai Red Cross Society’s Division of Infectious Diseases, had noticed an increasing infection rate in April last year. However, yesterday’s press conference was the first official notice of the recent outbreak by the department.
Apai said the infection rate had started to drop, although it had been high in recent months. Due to the success of disease control measures, there were only 26 provinces that still had active quarantine zones, down from the previous 37 provinces, he added.
“This year authorities have ordered 10 million doses of rabies vaccine to immunise the population of 10 million dogs and cats in the country by September. We are sure that we can vaccinate more than 80 per cent of dogs and cats and prevent rabies from spreading,” Apai said.
“This year we have more than enough vaccine to deter the rabies infection. Normally only around 7 million to 8 million doses of rabies vaccine are registered in the country each year and we have already trained 37,000 local volunteers how to vaccinate animals.”
He added that in addition to the intensive rabies immunisations, the department also prioritised control of the dog and cat populations.
Officers and volunteers were working on sterilising stray animals to meet this year’s goal of sterilising 200,000.
The department estimated that there were 1 million dogs and cats that did not have owners and it was the responsibility of local authorities to immunise and control the population.
“Animal population controls and quarantines are important measures to stop the rabies outbreak. The infected animals will have to be exterminated and a suspect animal will have to be quarantined for at least six months, but we are not going to take the extreme measure such as culling all stray animals,” Apai said.
He added that officers faced difficulties controlling rabies, as some people who regularly fed stray dogs and cats neglected to vaccinate the animals and opposed their sterilisation.
Nevertheless, he said authorities still had a commitment to eliminate rabies by 2020. He added that currently there were 21 “green” provinces, which had not had any reports of rabies infection in either humans or animals for at least two years.
To accomplish the elimination goal, all 77 provinces in Thailand will have to register green status within the next two years.Facebook.
Police Squash Major Hat Yai Drug Smuggling Operation
Pattaya Offers 50 Percent Discount To Domestic Tourists
Domestic Airlines Done With Social Distancing
Partial Solar Eclipse Visible Today On Koh Samui
Baby Elephants Electrocuted To Death By Orchard Fence
Russian Busted On Koh Samui For Using Fake Credit Cards
Thailand Is Policing Illegal Border Crossings
Poll Indicates Thais Want New PPRP Party Leader
Thousands Of Thai Workers Approved To Return To Taiwan
Unemployed Teacher Caught With Child Porn
- Regional News8 months ago
Koh Samui. 7-Eleven and Family Mart close overnight.
- Koh Samui News8 months ago
Samui Covid-19 update
- Breaking News8 months ago
Koh Samui’s first Covid-19 case
- Breaking News9 months ago
One dead, two injured after bar shooting in Samui
- Events8 months ago
Koh Samui is going into full lockdown
- Thailand News8 months ago
Bangkok booze ban and postponed holidays
- Regional News8 months ago
National curfew starts today
- Thai Life8 months ago
Thailand’s government officials extend tourist visas