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Professor Nguyen Tran Hien, Director of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said that in many provinces, especially in the North, homeless dogs with rabies or suspected with rabies attacked humans. Notably the rate of dogs with rabies virus is very high. Some samples taken from slaughtering houses were positive for rabies.
For example, in Pho Yen district, Thai Nguyen province, from late July to early August 83 people were bitten by dogs. The authorities collected samples from the dogs that attacked people for testing and up to two thirds were positive for the rabies virus. In Soc Son district, Hanoi, 130 people were bitten by homeless dogs, mainly in the communes of Bac Son, Nam Son, Viet Long and Minh Phu. All four samples collected from these dogs were positive for rabies virus.
Professor Hien said the threat of rabies outbreak is very high. The trade and transport of dogs across the border is a factor for the increase of rabies transmission. In China in 2007, the number of deaths due to rabies rose by 16 folds compared to 1995.
In addition, subjective psychology is also a reason why the anti-rabies is neglected. The rate of rabies vaccination for dogs was very low recently, at only about 30 percent in many places, just 10 percent in the mountainous midland areas and some provinces did not implement vaccination for dogs.
To control rabies in Vietnam, Professor Hien said that the government should implement anti-rabies activities throughout the country. People need to declare their dogs to the local authorities. Dogs must be muzzled on the road and must be vaccinated.
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