In Gombe state, a man has been reported to be dead after been bitten by a stray dog suspected to be infected with rabies virus. On the 8th of January, 2020 a villager visited the Gombe veterinary clinic opposite Veterinary Council of Nigeria regional office in Gombe state to report a case of dog bite. Two of his sons were bitten by a stray dog in Kaloma village in Dukku local government of Gombe state in December 2019 and they did nothing about it. But few weeks after, one of the two attacked started exhibiting the signs of rabies infection and they were at that point advised to report to the veterinary clinic in Gombe.
The Area Veterinary Officer swung into action and immediately referred them to the Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe with close monitoring. They were admitted into the hospital and placed on anti-rabies post exposure vaccine but unfortunately, the victim exhibiting the signs of rabies died the following day 9th January 2020.
The Gombe state Ministry of Agriculture immediately set up a team of veterinary doctors to visit Dukku LGA for surveillance and investigation. A member of the team who preferred not to be named informed Livestonews correspondent that the team discovered from the villagers that the dogs had also bitten two other persons but there was no report from them concerning their conditions. One of the stray dogs has been killed by the villagers while another one is at large but reportedly comes out in the night to kill domestic animals in the village.
According to the team’s finding, the villagers knew nothing about veterinary hospital or rabies virus, an indication that there is need for increased awareness campaign in the villages and indeed the entire state.
Worldwide Rabies kills almost 60,000 people each year, mostly affecting poor and rural communities and about 10,000 annual human cases are reported in Nigeria. Internationally, September 28 of every year is dedicated to awareness about Rabies and Nigeria joined the rest of the world to commemorate the 2019 edition with many states giving free anti rabies vaccine to dogs across the state.
Rabies virus is spread to people from the saliva of infected animals usually through a bite. Efforts should be made to create and strengthen awareness campaigns in rural communities on the dangers of this endemic disease and control of the infections through responsible dog ownership including their vaccinations as well as provision and use of prompt post exposure prophylaxis in human cases of dog bites. LIVESTONEWS.