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Rabies hotspots identified in Maun

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Department of Veterinary services in Maun have started killing unvaccinated and stray cats and dogs in Maun following an outbreak of rabies in the tourism town.

Council chairperson for Maun Administration Authority (MAA), Vepaune Moreti said that the action was triggered by 12 new recent cases of the deadly animal disease, which was confirmed in cats and dogs in Boseja, Disaneng, Botshabelo, Matlapaneng and Gxhabara wards in Maun.

Moreti described the five wards as hot spots for rabies, which broke out early this year, just before the peak of Covid-19.

“We have an estimated dog and cat population of 30 000 and 10 000 respectively. During January to February, a total of 10 690 pets were vaccinated which translates to 27 percent coverage,” explained Moreti who did not have the latest figures.

The outbreak is a second wave following the one that happened at the beginning of the year which affected not only animals at the time, but people as well.

Two people, a woman in Maun and a little girl in Chanoga reportedly died after sick dogs, which were suspected to have had the disease, bit them.

Dr Odirile Thololwane of Veterinary Services, now transferred to the Foot and Mouth department, attributed the outbreak to last year’s drought, which saw wild animals including jackals interact with domestic animals in their search for water and food.

District Health Management Team (DHMT) said people were then exposed to the virus through contact with the affected animal’s fluids including saliva and blood.

DHMT coordinator explained that the virus could infect people when the fluids get into their cut skin, mouth or even the eyes.

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