By Chisomo Phiri
Zomba district says it has registered 115 dog bites from January to August this year where six of the dogs were rabies positive.
Speaking to 247 Malawi News, Mission Rabies projects officer for Zomba, Chrispine Njala, stressed that underreporting of dog bites is contributing to increased rabies cases in the district.
He indicated that six rabies cases are a threat to the rapid spread of the disease in the district because on average a rabies-affected dog bites 10 other dogs per day which translates to 60 other dogs being infected each day.
Njala stated that together with the Zomba City Council health department and Zomba District Health Office they conducted contact tracing of the positive-rabies-dogs. He added that his office will conduct an anti-rabies campaign from August 26.
Zomba City Council director of health and social services, Busta Chiona said the city has a population of 13000 registered dogs and cats that are targeted for the vaccination.
He, however, said Zomba city has a huge number of stray dogs that are neither vaccinated nor receive any animal-related medical treatment.
“There are plans to eliminate these stray dogs in the city to control the further spread of rabies,” he said.
Rabies is a deadly virus usually spread through an animal bite.
Animals most likely to spread rabies include dogs, bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons.