By Phuket Gazette
Office chief Dr Apichai Limanon said the rabies situation in Krabi deserved attention because six out of 10 suspect dogs checked in Lamtab district this year and last were found to be rabid. At least 13 people had had direct contact with these dogs, and they had all received the vaccine and were being monitored.
“Many people have a misconception about rabies,” Apichai said. “They think that rabies is curable, so whenever they get a minor bite or are scratched or their open wound is touched by dog or cat saliva, they don’t clean the wound properly and then don’t go to hospital to receive the vaccine.
“When the virus gets into the body, the symptoms can sometimes take a while to develop. Some people take a year until the symptoms show and when it happens, it’s not curable and can be fatal,” said the doctor.
He said people should understand five rules when they are around dogs and cats, particularly stray animals: Do not tease them, do not step on them, do not hit them, do not try to take away their food or what they are playing with, and do not interact with other people’s dog or dogs that show symptoms of rabies.
“If you get a bite or wound from a dog or a cat, immediately clean the wound thoroughly with water and soap several times, put butadiene on it and rush to the nearest hospital to get the rabies PEP. Keep following up the vaccine until the last shot for complete protection.
“If bitten, the dog or cat must be impounded for 10 days and if the animal dies, immediately report it to the local livestock office to collect the body and check for rabies. The owners of dogs and cats must bring their pets to be vaccinated every year for effective protection.”