Rabies Toll Rises

DENPASAR

The death toll from a two-year-long outbreak of rabies in Bali rose to 101 on Saturday, a day after a top doctor said 100 people had died from the virus.

A 50-year-old man from the island’s capital Denpasar was the latest fatality of the disease, Dr Ken Wirasandi, who heads Bali’s main Sanglah Hospital’s rabies unit, said.

A roaming army of street dogs is blamed for the epidemic. The Bali government initially embarked on a mass cull, but it emerged this week that residents in many areas of the island reported no elimination of stray dogs in their areas.

The task of wiping out the rabies virus in Bali was handed by the government last month to an animal shelter, the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), in Ubud run by an American jewellery designer.

Backed by foreign funding, BAWA aims to vaccinate 70 percent of the 560,000 stray dogs in Bali, a campaign it hopes will be successful by the end of 2012.

Rabies is usually fatal once clinical symptoms of hydrophobia and photophobia — fears of water and light — appear.

Close to 40,000 people have received vaccination injections at hospitals in Bali this year after being bitten by stray dogs, health officials said.

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4 Responses to “Rabies Toll Rises”

  1. Tim Says:

    The epidemic is getting out of control and responsibility for the solution has been handed to a bunch of foreigners to experiment their theories.

    If the Chileans had done the same would their miners be free today.

    Hope there are no mines in Bali.

    (Well at least the dogs are free!)

  2. Joe Says:

    Many tourists are denied a rabies vacine at monkey parks even after a monkey attack, surely Bali must protect its no.1 form of income ie. The tourist?? Not to mention its own population

  3. Bill Says:

    That’s a lot of dog bites and a lot of dead people. This should be a major crisis with a serious, government led response.

    My wife and I are considering a trip to Bali in the Spring with our two kids. I’ll be watching this issue closely as we approach a final decision on where to go. As you can imagine, I’m not fond of the thought of putting us all in harm’s way … !

    And, of course, I would think the resident humans would want to protect themselves … (?!)

  4. chris menkemeyeer Says:

    you let a jeweler run the dog problem program? they are animal activists, when what you need is dog catchers, then put the dogs to sleep, perminitly..it is best for the dogs and most important , for the people.

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