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Rabies Threats Under Control
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Three people, including a four-year-old girl, were confirmed died of canine madness during the past ten days, amid more than 300 people bitten by dogs in Mouding County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local government said Sunday.

Li Haibo, spokesman of the Mouding county government, said that the three died after days of treatment in hospital. Though they were injected bacterin to treat the disease immediately after they were bitten by dogs, initial diagnosis shows rabies, or canine madness, caused their death.

Mouding, with a population of 200,000, kept over 55,000 dogs as pets or house watch. To prevent spread of the disease from ill dogs to more people, many dogs in the county have been killed over the past five days.

According to the official, since the end of June, local government has received reports continuously that people were bitten by "mad dogs," and the number increased sharply in middle and late July, during which period more than 300 were bitten.

Besides, there are still five more being hospitalized. They were bitten by dogs after July 20. And all those bitten by dogs have been asked to take anti-rabies bacterin injections.

Experts from the Yunnan provincial center of disease prevention and control warned that dogs with canine madness could spread the disease virus to human beings by biting and clawing.

The latent period of the disease is not certain, as from several days to as long as 20 years, and yet there is no effective medicine and treatment anti the disease, according to the experts.

Once the disease develops, patients could hardly survive. However, if people were injected with related bacterin in time, the incidence of the disease would drop to 10 percent, the experts said.

"With the aim to keep the horrible disease away from people, we decided to kill the dogs," Li said, adding that the disease is now under control.
(Xinhua News Agency July 31, 2006)

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