Rabies Western Cape

South Africa has recorded a spike in rabies cases in recent months. Image via: Adobe Stock

RABIES ALERT: City warns of spike in human cases of deadly disease

South Africa has recorded a spike in human rabies cases in recent months, prompting authorities to urge people to vaccinate their pets.

Rabies Western Cape

South Africa has recorded a spike in rabies cases in recent months. Image via: Adobe Stock

A spike in rabies cases has been reported in the eThekwini Municipality in recent weeks the city has warned.

This comes as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases last week reported an increase in the number of human cases of the disease.

eThekwini Municipality warned residents on Monday to be vigilant and to keep away from stray animals that may not have been vaccinated against the deadly disease, following a spike in reported cases of the deadly disease.

“The public is urged to be aware of an increase in rabies cases and to stay away from animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies,” eThekwini Municipality Spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said.

“Currently, there are seven human rabies cases that have been confirmed from January to date. Two cases have been reported between 21 and 25 November.

Pet owners are urged to get their animals vaccinated to curb the spread of rabies,” he said.

“In the City, rabies is prevalent with the south-subdistrict being mostly affected followed by west sub-district and north sub-district,” Mayisela said.

Human cases of rabies ‘on the rise’ in eThekwini

Recently, most of the positive rabid animals were from the Adams, Nsimbini, Umbumbulu, Ezingonyameni, Clare Estate, KwaDabeka, St Wendolins and Inanda areas.

 “While many species may be affected by rabies, domestic dogs are the most common reservoir of the virus with more than 99 percent of human deaths caused by dog-mediated rabies,” Mayisela said.

“People bitten by dogs are urged not to delay medical care as rabies in humans is often fatal but can be treated if medical attention is sought early,” he said.

He said that the city had been conducting health and awareness campaigns aimed at improving knowledge of the disease in most of the affected areas.

Meanwhile the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) last week reported a spike in the number of human cases of the disease across the country.

“As of 23 November 2021, a total of 17 laboratory-confirmed human rabies cases have been reported in South Africa. The latter were reported from Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces,” the NICD said.