Rabies vaccinations took place on Tuesday 16 July 2019 in Gill Markus and Lower Vaaldam after a dog from this area tested positive for Rabies. The dog was brought in to the SPCA with a poor appetite and the owner surrendered the dog as it was showing signs of aggression.
The SPCA was concerned about the sudden onset of aggression and referred the dog to Humansdorp Veterinary Clinic where the dog was euthanased. Since the symptoms seen were suspicious for rabies, specimens were collected for Rabies testing. On Monday this week, the lab contacted the State vet informing him that the dog tested positive for rabies.
This was the first such incident in the Kouga region and the matter was treated with much urgency with a Joint Operations Centre being established that has been meeting daily in Humansdorp this week. Role players include Dr Jared Strydom, State Vet, Dr Anthony Davis, Humansdorp Veterinary Clinic, various departments from Kouga Municipality, Disaster Management, Environmental Health, Law Enforcement, Dep of Health, SPCA and SAPS. Action Plans are being made on a daily basis in order to address this epidemic.
The immediate area of conflict is currently the Arcadia area outside Humansdorp. There is no evidence that would suggest that adjacent areas Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay and surrounding towns are affected.
If is however important that the required knowledge be shared with the communities about this contagious and fatal viral disease. Visit this link for a basic guide to rabies.