There have been three reported cases of rabies in the Western Cape.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the cases occurred last week.
“Following each of these cases, vets from the Department of Agriculture have vaccinated all dogs and cats in the surrounding areas. The vets host regular vaccination campaigns across the province and I would like to encourage people to ensure their animals are protected against rabies. Rabies is a deadly disease, but is easily preventable.”
The following cases were confirmed:
A cow showed behaviour changes with difficulty swallowing and later died. Tests confirmed a rabies infection. Three people who came into contact with the cow received preventative treatment.
A bat-eared fox approached cottages on a farm and attempted to attack a farm dog. The fox was later killed and tests confirmed rabies.
- Outside Porterville
A bat-eared fox came onto a farmstead without showing fear and was later killed with tests confirming rabies.
“In the Swartland there are sporadic cases in wild animals, especially bat-eared foxes, every few months, and rarely in unvaccinated domestic animals that have come into contact with a rabid wild animal, like the cow.”
Rabies is transmitted to humans from infected animals through bodily fluids, such as saliva. Rabies is a viral disease which causes inflammation of the brain. In humans, symptoms include fever, weakness and headache. Seek medical care immediately if you believe you have come into contact with an infected animal. Early treatment immediately after exposure can prevent the disease.
In animals, symptoms of rabies include behavioural change, for instance wild animals may appear tame or unafraid of humans while domestic animals could appear unresponsive or become aggressive. Another sign is difficulty swallowing, causing an animal to drool or appear to be choking.
If you suspect an animal is infected, please contact your nearest State Vet. Details for state vets can be found at www.elsenburg.com.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture