49 Vietnamese killed by rabies in nine months

By Phuong Trang   October 1, 2016 | 05:33 am PT
49 Vietnamese killed by rabies in nine months
Vietnam aims to eliminate rabies by 2020. Photo by FAO
The country is working to eliminate the viral disease by 2020.

Vietnam reported 49 human rabies deaths in the first nine months, asking the public to pay more attention to the prevention and treatment of dog bites.

The health ministry said the deaths were recorded in 20 cities and provinces. Last year there were 67 rabies deaths in total.

People bitten by dogs or cats are recommended to seek medical attention immediately. Doctors will decide if vaccination is needed.

The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals. The incubation period on humans is typically one to three months. Untreated rabies causes acute encephalitis and is almost always fatal.

Vietnam used to have hundreds of human rabies deaths a year. Millions of dollars are also spent each year on vaccination.

The country has been making efforts to reduce dog bite incidents and fatalities in recent years. By increasing the number of vaccinated dogs, it aims to eliminate rabies by 2020.

According to the General Statistics Office, there are around 10 million dogs in the country.

Rabies kills about 55,000 people a year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, which said children under 15 are the most common victims.

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