Rabies outbreak in Rongthong and Kanglung contained

A rabies outbreak in Rongthong and Kanglung in Trashigang are under control, officials from the Regional Livestock Department Center (RLDC) in Kanglung confirmed.

The outbreak in Kanglung, considered a major disease outbreak in recent times, has been brought under control.

However, the veterinary doctors in Kanglung are still monitoring the situation since the outbreak of rabies last month.

Following the recent outbreak of Rabies in Kanglunggewog in Trashigang, residents have become vigilant especially when they come across stray dogs.

However, awareness programs were held to alleviate excessive fear among the residents.

Preventative measures like public education, mass dog vaccination and surveillance were carried out to help rid of excessive fear among the residents.

Officials from the Dzongkhag livestock said the excessive hysteria is frequently observed among the public during such outbreaks although series of awareness and risk communication programs have been conducted.

The first case was reported in Rongthong last month when the suspected rabid dog bit three people. The community had killed a suspected rabid dog and reported to the livestock office in Kanglung.

Dr. TsheringDorjee from RLDC in Kanglung said the field test (FRT) from the samples collected from the carcass was positive.

“It has also bitten other community dogs, some people including the calves in Rongthong area,” said Dr. TsheringDorjee. “Following which the people are advised to stop consuming milk from these areas.”

He said that a joint investigation and response team comprising of RLDC, Trashigang livestock, BAFRA, health and local community were formed to address the matter. A disease outbreak investigation team and quarantine movement and control team have also been formed.

Following a massive anti-rabies vaccination and risk communication campaign in the gewog, active surveillance and monitoring in high risk areas are on-going.

During the first round of the campaign, more than 1,000 dogs were vaccinated in Kanglunggewog and more than thousands of people including students are undergoing rabies post exposure treatment at Kanglung BHU.

According to livestock officials, the source of rabies in Kanglung is assumed to be the movement of rabid dogs that travelled with the people during trade and festivals from the border area of Arunchal Pradesh in India. Meanwhile, the number of people visiting the Basic Health Unit in Kanglung has risen sharply after the news on rabies outbreak.

Jigme Wangchen from Kanglung, T/gang