Vietnam still has deaths from rabies  ảnh 1

People exposed to the rabies virus should get rabies vaccine soon

The medical experts recommend that vaccinating pets like dogs, cats and administering rabies vaccine immediately after being bitten by these animals is the most effective measure to prevent this dangerous infectious disease.

In the early days of 2023, although the heat has not yet entered its peak, in some localities, many people have been going to medical facilities to get vaccinated against rabies, especially during the last Lunar New Year holiday.

According to a report of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, in January 2023, the hospital gave nearly 1,900 rabies vaccines to people exposed to the rabies virus; 1,365 of them received booster injections and 496 people got fresh rabies vaccine.

Dr. Bui Hoang Truong, Deputy Head of Ho Chi Minh City-based Hospital for Tropical Diseases’ General Planning Department, said that in these past few days, most people have come to the infirmary for rabies vaccination because they have been bitten by dogs and cats while others were bitten by other animals such as mice, monkeys.

Elsewhere in the country, the number of people who come to the Center for Disease Control in the Southern Province of Dong Nai to receive rabies vaccine due to dog bites has also increased.

Only in January 2023, the province’s Center for Disease Control received nearly 1,000 people who registered to get the rabies vaccine. Particularly, during the Lunar New Year, 250 people were given the rabies vaccine.

At the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, from the beginning of 2023 to now, 99 people were bitten by dogs and cats and 56 of them are at high risk and required rabies sera.

The health systems of the Southeast provinces and Ho Chi Minh City also received more than 5,000 vaccinations against rabies in January 2023, an increase of 25 percent compared to December 2022 and an increase of 400 percent compared to November 2022.

According to doctors, rabies is still one of the dangerous infectious diseases in our country. According to the World Health Organization, although Vietnam has made strides in rabies control, in the past 10 years, on average, Vietnam still has 70-100 deaths from rabies each year.

Particularly in 2022, the Southeast Asian country recorded nearly 60 deaths from rabies, of which 23 cases were reported in the North, 20 in the South, 10 in the Central Highlands and 5 in the Central region.

Vietnam still has a high number of deaths from rabies because the government has not well-managed dogs raised in the community. Large populations of unvaccinated and free-roaming dogs are still a dangerous threat in many places.

According to the Department of Animal Health (MARD), to prevent rabies from spreading to humans, the rate of rabies vaccination in animals must reach at least 70 percent for two consecutive years. But in fact, in 2022, the rate of rabies vaccination in Vietnam only reached about 40 percent of the total population of dogs and cats.

Vietnam strives that, there will be no deaths from rabies by 2030. Therefore, in order to actively prevent rabies, the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health recommended that people should fully vaccinate pets and cats and get a booster shot every year; plus, pet owners must not let dogs and cats free roam in streets and dogs must wear a muzzle. People are advised not to play or tease dogs or cats.

Animal bites and scratches, even when they are minor, can become infected and spread bacteria to other parts of the body.

Therefore, when bitten, scratched or licked by a dog or cat, people should wash the wound with soap and water under pressure from a faucet for at least 5 minutes, but do not scrub, as this may bruise the tissue. Later, they should apply an antiseptic lotion or cream and continue to wash the wound with 70 percent alcohol, iodine alcohol, or Povidone.

They should immediately go to the nearest medical center for advice and timely rabies vaccination. Experts also note that people absolutely do not use herbal medicine, or self-medicate.

Dr. Nguyen Huu Dinh, Director of the Center for Disease Control in the Mekong Delta Province of Ben Tre, said that in 2022, the whole province recorded 12 deaths from rabies in 7/9 districts and cities, accounting for the highest number of deaths in the country.

People died of rabies after refusing the life-saving vaccine. Since the beginning of 2023, the province has recorded 1 case of rabies.

Source: SGGP