Rabies at Ondangwa

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By Emma Kakololo WINDHOEK The On-dangwa Town Council this week sent out an urgent notice to pet owners at the town who have not yet vaccinated their animals against rabies to do so immediately. The appeal comes after a child was bitten by a dog at the town last week Monday. The dog was later found to be suffering from rabies by the local government veterinary clinic on the same day. Towards the end of last year, the town carried out an emergency rabies vaccination campaign following pockets of rabies cases reported at the town. “We invite residents whose animals were not treated last year to get to the local veterinary clinic. The vaccination is free,” the town council’s spokesperson stated yesterday. He said from the look of things and with the current outbreak, it appears that not all pet owners complied with the appeal. “We don’t know whether the whole area was covered. It appears that some people did not take their pets for vaccination,” he said. “But, I would like the public to know that the local vet clinic is always ready to assist those who want to have their dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies at the town and neighbouring villages,” the spokesman reiterated. The clinic is situated near Old Mutual opposite the Directorate of Education for Oshana and Omusati regions. Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It typically spreads by way of the saliva of infected animals ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÀÃ…¬ÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã‚ often, but not always, through a bite. Once you are infected, the virus spreads from your muscles to your peripheral nerves to your spinal cord and brain. From initial flu-like signs and symptoms, the illness progresses to convulsions, hallucinations, paralysis or breathing failure and almost always death once the infection is established. Immediate medical treatment should be sought after exposure.