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A Hair from the Dog

Dog Bite Rates and Rabies Cases on the Decline in Bali

(8/24/2012) Radar Bali reports that dog bites are on the decline in Bali, a development linked to a concomitant decline in the number of reported rabies cases.

The head of Bali’s Provincial Health Service, Ketut Suarjaya, confirms that the number of new rabies cases in Bali continues to decline. Data from his office indicates that in 2011 the number of dog bites reported in Bali averaged 150 a day. In 2012, the numbers of average daily biting reports have declined to 80.

Surjaya credited the decline in dog bite cases to government programs of vaccination and extermination of free roaming dogs. The reduction in the number semi-feral dogs on Bali’s street and an intensive program of vaccination has largely eliminated rabies in many areas of the island.

To treat the lower number of remaining dog bit cases, the Bali Department of Health confirms that it holds 19,985 vials of anti-rabies vaccine (VAR) for treating humans suspected of having come in contact with the rabies virus. Health authorities assure stocks are sufficient to treat all those in need of treatment.

Meanwhile the head of the rabies eradication team at Bali’s Sanglah Hospital, Dr. Ken Wirasandhi, confirmed that the number coming to the hospital for VAR averages only between 10 and 15 patients each day. Adding, “We continue to have enough stock of VAR. There is also additional stock of VAR at the Department of Health; all we have to do is go there to get more vaccine.”

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