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BANGKOK 24 April 2019 08:50
wildewillie89

Chaiyaphum Rabies Update

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Just a bit of information for those concerned.

This year there have been 22 animal fatalities due to rabies so far - 15 dogs and 7 cats. These fatalities have occurred in 12 of the 16 districts (so a  widespread problem). So far there have been no human deaths. The Governor was recently advised and acted to make the province a 'red zone' area for rabies.  

The issues with Tessabans obtaining the vaccines are still occurring. Some sub-districts would have already vaccinated public/private dogs, whilst many are still on the waiting list. Some would have done half the villages within their sub-district, but the other half have not been done.

The Livestock Office would have vaccinated the immediate area (1km) from where a animal was found dead. Earlier in the year, they were vaccinating 5kms from the body, but with the spike in numbers this got reduced to 1km. There is also a borrow scheme happening, so areas that have not vaccinated for 3 years can borrow vaccines from Bangkok and then when they receive their vaccines they will send them to replace the ones they borrowed. However, not many sub-districts fit the criteria for that. 

The vaccine the province is using is the imported Defensor 3 vaccine. I personally would not be waiting for the Tessaban to vaccinate your family and extended families dogs. The private vet clinics have adequate vaccines (including Defensor 3), and they are not at all expensive. You can also buy the vaccine and arrange the vet who works in the government office to administer it if live in a desirable location (with a fee), if taking your dog to the vet is deemed impossible (no vehicle).

Educational posters should have been put up around the village meeting areas. Education about what one should do if licked, scratched or bitten should have been discussed on the daily village announcements. Public schools (and nurseries - parents in attendance), should have had Public Health Officials visit them to discuss how to wash, tell parents, go to hospital etc. 

Future ideas to tackle the problem involve desexing dogs at the same time as vaccinating them. The current problem with this is bureaucracy as it is illegal to use municipality budgets to buy the drugs to faint the dog to perform the procedure.  Also the proposed law that has been discussed on this forum about the animal wearing a vaccine tag. Even today, no department has knowledge about who will enforce the law. Also, finally, there are ideas being pushed about to put a tax on dogs. So for every dog a annual fee will need to be paid. This is to try and push people to desex their dogs or they will need to pay a fee for each puppy born. Again, the issue if this gets up comes down to who will enforce it. 

*Edit: If you see an animal that has died you can contact your local municipality who will pick it up and take it to the Vet Office. They will cut the head off and from memory send it to Korat to be tested. We found a cat just outside our house and did this. 

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Edited by wildewillie89

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Update:

There was a short meeting with the assistant Governor yesterday updating the rabies situation. No animals have tested positive to rabies since the last case. So some good news. 

>80% of the dogs and cats in the Chaiyaphum province are now vaccinated against with imported vaccines (Defensor 3). The rabies issue spiked this year due to the low quality Thai vaccines in the last few years. 

Tessabans have been told to stock up on vaccines, but obviously difficult due to end of  financial year. Luckily my Tessaban prepared and have 800. 

In December the government has given heads of villages a budget to find scouts to look for any new puppies and kittens to be vaccinated. So will pay people 30 baht for each animal they find (but limited to 2-3,000 baht depending on the area regardless of how many animals they find). 

Keep safe, and make sure you wash any licks to open wounds, scratches and bites and get yourself to the hospital for a shot. 

Edited by wildewillie89

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