Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development Dept. Warns Holidaymakers of Rabies Circulating in Several Provinces

The Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department has urged residents and holidaymakers to be cautious about the prevalence of rabies in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

In a statement, the Department on Wednesday said the viral disease had also been detected on the border between the Free State and Lesotho.

The department said the coastal areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape are particularly high-risk areas for rabies. 

“The public is advised not to approach or pick up stray dogs and cats from these areas for whatever purpose, and to report such animals to the nearest welfare organisation, SPCA or the police station.”

The department said by picking up stray animals and homing them, the public risks aiding the spread of rabies to other areas and provinces and therefore put lives at danger.

“The rabies virus is transmitted through saliva of an infected animal when it bites, scratches or licks a person – The fatal disease affects the brain and, once clinical signs become visible, there is no curative treatment.” 

The department said that if a person has been exposed to an animal that may have rabies, it is important to wash the wound well with soap under running water and to immediately seek preventative treatment at your nearest healthcare facility.

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