Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Rabies outbreak: Vet. Dept ask residents to confine pets

Pet owners in the Federal Capital, territory have been asked to confine their pets especially dogs, to minimize the risk of rabid attacks in the territory.

The advice came from the Veterinary Services Department of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of the FCTA, following an upsurge of rabies outbreak in the FCT.

The Director Veterinary Services Department of the Secretariat, Dr. Regina Adulugba, who gave the advice while kicking off free vaccination exercise for dogs and cats in the FCT, cautioned residents to be vigilant as the disease is highly fatal.

According to her, there has been an upsurge of rabies outbreak in the FCT in recent times and that the Secretariat is in addition to the daily routine clinical vaccination exercise embarking on a campaign to sensitize FCT residents on the importance of vaccinating their animals.

In her words “I am calling on all residents not just dog and cat owners to be cautious because as at the moment, there has not been any confirmed cure for the disease. It is important to note also that not just dogs, even cats can be carriers of the rabies virus so our best bet is to annually vaccinate these animals”.

Speaking on the Mambilla Barracks incidence, where a rabid dog attacked a baby, she said the Secretariat took samples from the dog which it sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute, NVRI (Vom) which tested positive for the virus.

She urged residents to ensure that they confine their pets especially dogs to minimize the risk of attacks. “Even the saliva from an infected pet can be dangerous so it is important to take caution” Adulugba said.

Adulugba said the Secretariat has procured enough vaccines and other necessary inputs to carry out the exercise free of charge between now and December 2019. “We have fully mobilized all our Veterinary doctors and other health workers and we will be taking the campaign to all the 6 Area Councils of the FCT to offer the free vaccines. I therefore call on pet owners to take advantage of the window to vaccinate their animals”.


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