The Lamu County Directorate of Livestock-Veterinary Services started a seven-day rabies vaccination campaign in Witu, Hongwe, Baharini, Mkunumbi, Hindi, Faza, Mkomani, Shella, and Kiunga wards this week. As part of the initiative, dogs and cats will be vaccinated against rabies.
The exercise was necessary, according to Livestock Chief Officer Dr. Charles Gichohi, because the viral disease was suspected to have spread to domestic animals during the prolonged drought that led to infiltration of wild animals to human population areas in quest of water.
“At least 6,000 dogs and cats will be vaccinated against the fatal rabies virus as part of the campaign’s goal.I also ask the public to collaborate during this week-long campaign, which began on Monday, in order to achieve a successful and seamless campaign and vaccination exercise,” Dr. Gichohi stated.
H.E Fahim Twaha, has also lauded members of the public who have already presented their cats and dogs for vaccination, noting that rabies is more prevalent in rural areas since dogs and cats are allowed to roam freely in search of food. These dogs and cats are unlikely to be vaccinated on time since they rarely receive veterinary treatment.
According to the World Health Organization, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to people in up to 99 percent of cases. However, rabies can infect both domestic and wild animals, and it is transmitted to humans and animals by bites or scratches, with saliva being the most common mode of transmission.
The Rabies virus attacks the brain and is 100% lethal once symptoms show. Fever, headache, excessive salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion are among the virus’s symptoms, which are followed by coma and death within 14 days.
Children under the age of 15 account for 40% of those bitten by suspected rabid animals.
Story by: Abdalla Simba
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Lamu County Government Communications Office at firstname.lastname@example.org