Al­most ev­ery dis­trict of Taitung is af­fected by ra­bies: author­i­ties

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Ra­bies has con­tin­ued to spread in Taitung af­ter a new case of the vi­ral dis­ease in an in­fected fer­ret badger was con­firmed in the eastern county, an­i­mal dis­ease con­trol of­fi­cials said yesterday.

The new case in Taimali — the first re­ported from this Taitung town­ship since the ra­bies out­break in 2013 — means al­most all of the eastern county has been af­fected by the dis­ease, the of­fi­cials said.

So far only Tawu and Chin­feng town­ships in the county have not yet seen con­firmed ra­bies cases, but Wu Tzu-he, head of Taitung’s An­i­mal Dis­ease Con­trol Cen­ter, said these two ar­eas prob­a­bly have al­ready fallen vic­tim. The only un­af­fected area of Taitung is its off­shore is­lands, Wu added.

Tai­wan had been de­clared ra­bies free un­til July 2013 when fer­ret badgers were found to have been in­fected by the dis­ease in Taitung in July 2013. Since then, 222 ra­bies cases have been con­firmed in Taitung, with 218 of them be­ing in­fected fer­ret badgers, of­fi­cials said.

The latest case in Taimali was re­ported on Aug. 7 af­ter a dog killed a fer­ret badger. Af­ter ex­am­in­ing the dead an­i­mal, the Coun­cil of Agri­cul­ture con­firmed it was a ra­bies case.

Wu called on peo­ple to avoid wild an­i­mals and not to aban­don their pets. Wu also urged pet own­ers to have their an­i­mals re­ceive ra­bies vac­ci­na­tions ev­ery year.

When they spot dead an­i­mals, peo­ple must not han­dle them and in­stead must re­port to the author­i­ties, Wu said.

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