…𝒄𝒐𝒍𝒍𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒆𝒇𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒔 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒍 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒃𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒌 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒂𝒇𝒆𝒈𝒖𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒎𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏𝒔𝒕 𝑹𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒏𝒔𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒊𝒐𝒏
Tareythang, Gelephu is facing a concerning outbreak of rabies, as a middle-aged man who was bitten by a stray dog in late May remains in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Central Regional Referral Hospital in Gelephu. The gravity of the situation has escalated with reports of 7 to 8 individuals being exposed to potentially infected animals, heightening the urgency for swift action.
According to Gelephu Hospital, the primary source of the outbreak has been traced to a dog that does not belong to the locality. The dog has been chased away, and its current whereabouts remain unknown, making it difficult to assess the risk it poses.
The dog had bitten two cows, resulting in the death of one. Initial tests conducted on the cow showed no signs of rabies. However, the second cow is currently under quarantine and exhibits symptoms indicative of rabies virus infection. Additionally, the dog also bit four cats, all of which have died. It is believed that the cats succumbed to injuries from the dog bites rather than rabies.
According to the Dzongkhag Health Officer (DHO) of Sarpang Dzongkhag, “Prompt action has been taken by vaccinating 145 individuals from Yoezergang village under Tareythang chiwog as a precautionary measure against rabies. Those who had contact with the infected cow and individuals who handled the cats’ carcasses have received anti-rabies vaccinations to mitigate the risk of disease spread. Close monitoring of individuals at high risk of exposure is also being conducted to identify any potential signs or symptoms.
In response to the rabies outbreak in Tareythang, a collaborative effort involving the Regional Veterinary Hospital and Epidemiology Centre, Central Regional Referral Hospital, and officials from the Livestock, Health, and Bhutan Food and Drug Authority in Sarpang Dzongkhag are actively working to control the outbreak and prevent further transmission of the disease among animals. The aim is to control the outbreak and prevent further transmission of the disease among animals. At the national level, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Ministry of Health are taking the lead in spearheading the efforts to control the outbreak.
The Central Regional Referral Hospital strongly advises individuals who have experienced animal bites or scratches from unknown animals to report immediately to the nearest health center. The authority emphasizes refraining from feeding or playing with unfamiliar dogs or cats and assures regular updates to ensure public awareness and safety throughout the course of the outbreak.
Rabies, a viral disease with serious implications for public health, is currently posing a significant threat. According to a notification from the Ministry of Health (MoH), the primary mode of transmission is through the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most commonly dogs. MoH emphasizes the critical importance of understanding that rabies is a fatal disease if left untreated. In light of this, the Ministry advises strict adherence to the provided guidelines and recommendations, urging community members to take immediate precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their animals.
MoH emphasizes the cruciality of vaccinating all domesticated animals under one’s care, including dogs, cats, and other pets. Such vaccinations not only ensure their well-being but also contribute to containing the spread of the disease within the community. Interacting with stray animals should be avoided whenever possible due to their unknown rabies status. Educating children about the significance of staying away from unfamiliar animals is of equal importance.
Furthermore, MoH encourages the prompt reporting of any suspicious animal behavior, such as aggression, excessive drooling, or unsteady movement, to local authorities. In the event of an animal bite or scratch, regardless of severity, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial. Early intervention, including receiving the rabies vaccine and appropriate wound care, plays a vital role in preventing the onset of rabies.
To address the outbreak effectively, the Ministry of Health has activated field interventions to prioritize the safety and well-being of the people. The collective effort required to combat the spread of rabies is emphasized as authorities strive to control the outbreak and ensure public safety.
The outbreak of rabies in Tareythang, Gelephu, has brought forth significant concerns for public health and safety. With a middle-aged man currently in critical condition and several individuals at high risk of exposure, urgent measures are being taken to control the outbreak and prevent further transmission of the disease. Collaborative efforts involving veterinary hospitals, healthcare institutions, and government agencies are actively working towards this goal.
The Ministry of Health stresses the gravity of rabies as a fatal disease if left untreated, urging strict adherence to guidelines and recommendations. Vaccination of domesticated animals, avoiding contact with stray animals, and promptly reporting any suspicious animal behavior are crucial preventive measures. The Ministry has activated field interventions to safeguard the community and provide necessary medical attention.
It is of utmost importance for individuals to exercise caution, seek immediate medical attention in case of animal bites or scratches, and stay informed through regular updates from the authorities. With collective effort and responsible actions, the outbreak can be controlled, and the safety of the community ensured. Everyone should remain vigilant; protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our animals from this deadly disease.