"Although Hong Kong has done well in rabies control, people should have their dogs, older than five months, licensed and vaccinated against the disease," Hong Kong's health chief said Wednesday.
Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow urged Hong Kong citizens to be alert against the deadly disease, as hundreds cases of rabies on the Chinese mainland had made local citizens worry about the possible outbreaks of rabies in Hong Kong.
Chow said Hong Kong's rabies-free status is maintained by a well-established control system that requires all dogs over five months old to be licensed and vaccinated.
Meanwhile, a stringent import control and quarantine system is in place to prevent importation of the disease. Countries are classified into three categories according to their rabies risk. Dogs and cats from high-risk countries are subject to four months quarantine.
According to record, the last animal rabies case in Hong Kong was reported in 1987, and the last human case was reported in 2001, but the patient was infected abroad.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2006)