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Public Health Ministry Taking Steps to Prevent Rabies Outbreak

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A failure to vaccinate pet animals in Thailand is a petty offense punishable by a 200-baht (S$8.40) fine per animal. – Photo ANN

CHIANG RAI – The Ministry of Public Health has instructed the Department of Disease Control to give anti-rabies vaccinations to people and animals to prevent a wider outbreak.

According to Public Health Minister Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, the Department of Disease Control continues to provide anti-rabies vaccinations free to the general public after a number of infected animals were recently reported.

He claimed that people pay little attention to the severity of the virus. In the past, the majority of rabies patients succumbed to the disease because there were no medicines. Now, anyone bitten by a cat or dog is advised to seek medical attention immediately.

Livestock Development Department deputy chief Chirasak Pipattanapongsophon last week blamed the virus’ spread on the fact that many pet owners had failed to take their animals in for vaccination and allowed them to stray outside, exposing them to rabid dogs.

A failure to vaccinate pet animals is a petty offense punishable by a 200-baht (S$8.40) fine per animal.

In Chiang Rai province, a survey is now underway to determine the number of doses needed. Animals without an owner are likely to be sterilized to keep their population under control and prevent rabies transmissions.

Vaccinations are being provided in 13 affected provinces.

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