Rabies Toll Rises
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.Filed under: Arts & Entertainment