40 people died from rabies since 2014

Since early 2014, 40 people died due to rabies. This news was released at a meeting on August 18 in Hanoi between the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

Most of deaths due to rabies are people in the North. The Central province of Nghe An has five cases, next are the northern provinces of Hoa Binh, Yen Bai, Thanh Hoa, Lai Chau and Hanoi. Thanh Hoa, Thai Binh and Hung Yen in the North have not had any case of rabies for years but they recorded cases recently.

Dang Quang Tan, deputy head of the Preventive Medicine Department, said that low vaccination proportion of dogs, cats is the cause of increasing number of deaths due to rabies.

Dogs and cats are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths. Just 20 percent of dogs and cats are vaccinated nationwide. Along with this, the increase is blamed for residents' lack of awareness for preventing rabies.

Though medical workers encouraged local residents to give vaccine injections to their dogs and cats as the most cost-effective strategy for preventing rabies in people is by eliminating rabies in dogs through vaccination, but people are still subjective.

When people are bitten, people did not go to medical stations to receive vaccination. Moreover, 3 percent of them are sent to medical clinics but it is too late to treat. 6 percent of them are treated with herbal and 3 left percent have no money for vaccination.

Most of dead people owing to rabies are living in rural where residents often let their dogs wander and bite indiscriminately. Rabies disease is not included in the national target index so it has no expenditure for media to raise people’s awareness of the disease and training vets for rabies prevention mission.

Medical experts confirmed rabies can be absolutely prevented through media and improved vaccination rate for dogs and cats. In addition, vaccination after bitten is the only way to save people from death.

Around the world, one person dies from rabies every minute. In Vietnam, since 2008, report says an estimated 600 people died of rabies or average of 90 deaths every year.

By Khanh Nguyen - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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