The Jakarta Post
Efforts to curb rabies in the resort island of Bali have failed as the deadly viruses is now found in 159 villages, up from the 155 villages in which it was found in June.
Bali's Animal Husbandry Agency head Putu Sumantra blamed the spread of the rabies virus on dog owners that allow their unvaccinated pets to become wild. 'There are many dog owners who dump their pets in the nearby forests. The dogs are not vaccinated,' he was quoted by tribunnews.com as saying.
He expressed concern that the rabies virus was also found in many tourist areas like Ubud, Gianyar, Kuta and Badung.
According to latest Animal Husbandry Agency data, the number of deaths caused by the virus this year had already reached 14 in August, compared with one and two deaths respectively in 2013 and 2014.
With five deaths, Buleleng regency was the most-affected area, followed by three in Karangasem, two in Clungkung and one each in Bangli, Gianyar, Tabanan and Badung. There were no deaths in Denpasar or Jembrana.
The latest casualty of the virus is I Wayan Ranti, a resident of Bungaya village, Karangasem regency, who died on Aug. 29. He was infected by rabies after being bitten by his pet dog.
Meanwhile, head of Bali Health Agency I Ketut Suarjaya said that his office has 16,000 vials of anti-rabies vaccine, an adequate amount for two or three months of treatment. He said that he had called on officials in regencies and cities to immediately utilize the agency's anti-rabies vaccines if they have insufficient stock.
He said that residents had access to vaccines at rabies centers in nine regencies/cities as well as in all hospitals and public health centers across Bali. (bbn)(++++)
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