The Archipelago

Rabies in North Sumatra
alarming: Official

MEDAN: Rabies cases in North Sumatra have been perceived as alarming with the death toll reaching 36 people from 3,693 cases recorded in 2010.

Health Agency head Chandra Syafei said Gunung Sitoli suffered most from the outbreak with 20 people killed from 737 cases found. One fatality occurred this year.

Samosir regency reported 469 cases with three deaths and Medan municipality recorded 444 cases with no deaths.

The North Sumatra administration office has declared Nias Island as in a state of emergency over the disease. A circular by Governor Syamsul Arifin has barred the entry of dogs, cats, monkeys from Nias.

Health and Husbandry Agency head Mulkan Nias said the agency held 61,756 of a total of 290,000 dogs in the province.

He said training on rabies treatment and vaccination had been given to a number of residents and hoped that the province would be freed from the disease by 2014. — JP

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