Myths and stereotypes in township and rural communities are hampering government’s efforts to contain the rabies outbreak in KwaZulu-Natal. This is according to the provincial Agriculture MEC Themba Mthembu who was on a vaccination drive at Northdale in Pietermaritzburg.
The disease has killed 4 people in the province since the beginning of the year.
The deadly disease which affects animals and humans has now spread across the province’s borders to the Eastern Cape claiming the life of one person.
Cases have also been reported in neighboring Lesotho and Mozambique.
Veterinarian Cameron Kutwano has cautioned people to look out for the signs.
“Your have signs, normally you will start having fever. You will feel disturbed like having hallucinations, vomiting and a lot of saliva and eventually you will be paralysed and be in a coma and die. So what we have always been pushing is that people should get medical attention quicker”
Government has set aside six million rand to fight the disease and twenty-five additional mobile clinics have been sourced.
Agricultural MEC Themba Mthembu says there’s reluctance in townships and rural areas to vaccinate.
“In rural areas there is this belief that if you vaccine your dog it will not be good in hunting. That’s a myth, it is not true. Others are saying if you vaccine your dog you’re sterilizing it.”
Government aims is to vaccinate up to 600-thousand cats and dogs by the end of the year.
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