One Rabies Fatality Confirmed as Culling Underway

DENPASAR ~ A Balinese man has been confirmed as dying from rabies after being bitten last week by a dog, while three other cases are still suspected, an official said.

“Out of three dog bite cases, one tested positive for the rabies virus. The victim was bitten in Kedonganan village, Jimbaran,” Bali Animal Husbandry Department chief Ketut Alit told reporters on Wednesday.

He said that in response to the announcement, Governor I Made Mangku Pastika had instructed officials to forbid the entry of dogs, cats and monkeys into Bali.

At the weekend, the governor ordered that wild dogs be killed to prevent a rabies epidemic, and called on residents to do their part in culling street dogs.

“Wild dogs must be eliminated to prevent the spread of rabies,” Pastika said.

Regent of Tabanan N. Adi Wiryatama asked people to be watchful of their pets, and if possible to tie up their dogs.

However, the Tabanan Heath Department said it had not yet received any reports of rabies cases in the regency.

“So far we have not found any rabies in Tabanan, but if anyone suspects they may have the virus, they should go to the nearest hospital as soon as possible,” said department chief I Ketut Sumiarta.

Tabanan Animal Husbandry Department head I Gusti Putu Suandi agreed with Sumiarta and said his subdistrict staff had been put on high alert.

Rabies causes swelling of the brain and if left untreated can be fatal within days of contraction of the virus. Symptoms in people include high fever and headache, followed by severe pain, inability to swallow and eventual coma. Treatment usually consists of vaccination, introducing weakened forms of the virus to the patient’s immune system. Rabid dogs are noted by their continual salivation and aggression.

Doctors advise that if you suspect you have been bitten by a rabies-infected animal, which can include cats, you should immediately wash the bite area with soap and water, as well as a disinfectant, before seeking medical treatment.

Meanwhile, Bali’s Animal Husbandry Department said it found one dog infected with rabies and was preparing 20,000 vaccines.

“The vaccines have been sent by the central government’s Animal Husbandry Department and will be given to every dog in Ungasan and Kedonganan villages, and also to dogs within a 10-kilometer radius of the two villages,” department chief Ida Bagus Alit said on Tuesday.

Alit said the department has also killed wild dogs in Ungasan, Kedonganan and Kuta Beach to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said, so far, 75 dogs had been killed and predicted many more would have to be put down.

Badung Animal Husbandry Department said it was working with local people in the Bukit’s Ungasan area to hunt wild dogs and prevent a rabies outbreak.

Department official Gede Asrama said 11 wild dogs were caught in recent days and killed with an injection.

Based on department data, 54 people were attacked by dogs in Ungasan village this year, four of whom were suspected to have died.

“We will also be holding similar operations in other areas of Badung to keep Bali clear of rabies,” Asrama said.

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2 Responses to “One Rabies Fatality Confirmed as Culling Underway”

  1. John Daniel Says:

    Reports about rabies in Bali have now been published in Australian newspapers. These are likely to have a significant negative impact on tourism. But why are many dogs still roaming the beaches in Kuta, Legian and Seminyak? At the best of times these, especially the snarling and barking ones, are annoying to visitors Now they are frightening. Some reports suggest culling is not the answer to eradicating rabies, but it is the answer to maintaining tourist numbers. A snarling, potentially rabies infected dog is as frightening as a bomb.

  2. Janice Buckley Says:

    There are so many dogs roaming the towns and countryside and owners should be made responsible for their animals.Some of the dogs are in such a poor state and tourists are quite saddened by this side of Bali.