oa Agriprobe - Taking the bite out of rabies - : taking our services out there

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1810-9799



Rabies is one of the primary diseases which the Animal Health sub- directorate of Veterinary Services within the Western Cape Department of Agriculture targets in terms of disease control. Figure 1 shows the progression of the rabies vaccination effort logged by Western Cape Veterinary Services officials over the past three years. Included in the maps are the outbreaks the province has experienced in animals over that time period and the species in which those outbreaks occurred. The rabies subtype that predominates in the Western Cape is found mainly in the bat-eared fox population. It is very important to note, however, that this does not mean that bat-eared foxes are carriers of the virus in the Western Cape; if they get infected they will almost certainly die. The bat-eared fox acts rather as the maintenance host for the rabies virus variant that occurs in the Western Cape, and should the virus spill over to another host like the domestic dog, the infection will generally not spread further.

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