The Animal Welfare Society of SA has issued a Red Alert after they received confirmation that two dogs from Khayelitsha tested positive for rabies last week.
The two positive cases are the first in over 27 years within the Cape Metro. The last dog to test positive for rabies was in 1994. Rabies is circulating in a number of provinces in South Africa and it’s suspected that the two dogs (who share no common connection), were brought into the Cape Metro by their owners or travelled to and from other provinces with a high prevalence of Rabies together with their owners.
According to the Western Cape Veterinary Service Head, Dr Gininda Msiza, rabies is a viral disease affecting animals and people.
Msiza added: “It is transmitted by saliva or other body fluids, and a dog or person can be infected by being bitten, scratched, or licked by a rabid animal.”
To avoid the spread of Rabies throughout the province, the Animal Welfare Society of SA strongly advises all pet owners to get their dogs or cats vaccinated if they have not received their rabies vaccination in the last three years.
Rabies is one of the most deadly Zoonoses.
“According to The World Organisation for Animal Health each year, it kills nearly 59 000 people worldwide, mostly children in developing countries. That equates to 1 death every 10 minutes,” says the Animal Welfare Society of SA.
There is no cure for rabies but it is 100% preventable. Puppies should receive their first vaccination at 3 months of age followed by another vaccine booster and thereafter they can receive an annual booster.
The vaccination is uncomplicated and supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who supplies veterinary practices with the vaccines for free.
“We are anticipating a rush for rabies vaccines and would recommend that you call 021 692 2626 to book a vaccination.”