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All Bark, Less Bite

Bali Says Dramatic Drop in Dog Bite Cases Herald a Declining Rate of Rabies Infections.

(5/28/2011) The Bali Heath Service is reporting a dramatic drop in the number of dog bit attacks by as much as 50%, seen as signaling a corresponding decrease in rabies infections.

In 2009, the total daily average number of dog bites was 300 island-wide. In 1970, that number had dropped to 170 and during the first four months of 2011 is averaging around 125 attacks per day.

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Further bolstering hopes that rabies is on the decline in Bali, BeritaBali.com quotes the head of the Bali Health Service, Dr. Nyoman Sutedja, saying that for the period January – May 2011 there have only been 7 new cases of human deaths attributed to rabies. The latest figure are feeding the doctor’s optimism that the 2011 deaths are connected to dog bites that happened in 2010.

If Bali can remain free of any new cases in 2012 it will clear the way for Bali to be declared rabies free by 2015.

From the rabies initial outbreak in November 2008, a total of 128 human deaths have been linked to rabies in Bali, all of which have also  been sourced to dog bites.