The Delta State Government says it has recorded over 60 cases of rabies and five deaths within two months in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Joseph Onojaeme, disclosed this on Thursday shortly after a walk to mark the World Rabies Day in Asaba, the Delta State capital.
Onojaeme said that the reason for the walk was to sensitise the public about rabies and the need to report cases.
He said, “We embarked on the walk for life to let people know about rabies and the need to report rabies cases to hospital early to avoid death.
“We have recorded over 60 cases in two months, and some who did not report the case on time died.
“So, we are appealing to the people to bring their dog to be vaccinated because if a dog is vaccinated, we have 90 per cent of the rabies cases solved.”
Also speaking, the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Mildred Okowa, added that over 60 rabies cases have been reported, five deaths were recorded while two persons paralysed.
She said, “People get rabies when they are bitten by a dog or cat. So, we are appealing to dog owners to ensure their dogs get vaccinated annually. We have over 60 cases, out of which five died and two persons paralyzed.
“If the dog is vaccinated, it will not carry rabies, [then, even if it bites a human being, the person will not go down with rabies.] Rabies is fatal [and] it is preventable.”
She explained that the incubation period of rabies ranges from three weeks to three months, saying that early reports to the nearest hospital will help in the prevention of death.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Perez Omoun, who flagged off a vaccine ceremony of this year’s Rabies campaign in the state, said over 6,000 dogs were vaccinated in 2022.
He said the state will continue to sensitise the public on rabies, even to the rural communities, in a bid to eradicate the virus in the state.