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2,620 Dog Bite Cases Recorded In Accra   
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Out of the 2,620 human dog bite cases recorded in the Greater Accra region between 2003 and 2008, 232 of them tested positive for rabies, Dr. Kwasi Bowi Darkwa, President of the Ghana Veterinary Medical Association (GVMA), has announced.

He said the Accra Central Veterinary Laboratory receives on the average, eight positive cases of rabies infected dogs every month. Dr. Darkwa revealed this at the launch of World Rabies Day held in Accra on Tuesday. Rabies is an acute fatal disease caused by a virus which is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal.

The disease primarily affects not only dogs and cats but all mammals, including human beings. “The main symptoms of rabies are characterized by disturbed consciousness, increased nerve irritability and subsequent symptoms of paralysis,” he added. Dr. Darkwa said the incubation period is variable among different individuals, saying it varies indirectly with the amount of virus introduced at the site of the wound and the number of sensory nerve endings present there.

The average incubation period is two to eight weeks in dogs and nine days to two years in humans. Despite being 100 per cent vaccine preventable worldwide, one person dies from this terrible disease every 10 minutes, he lamented. He attributed this to the high cost of human anti rabies vaccines, saying it was about 80 times expensive compared to animal rabies vaccine. Dr. Darkwa, therefore appealed to the government to rather commit funds for animal rabies vaccination which is less expensive and break the animal to human transmission cycle.
Source: G. Times

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