The Ministry of Health is presently investigating a suspected case of bovine rabies better known as rabies in cow that was reported on the 24th of July 2013 by Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, in the New Road Area of the Toledo District.

Today the Ministry of Health and BAHA revealed that they have been engaged in the investigation and treatment of eight exposed persons as part of a proactive response pending confirmation of laboratory result on the sample. While there is no confirmed case as yet, the public is reminded that periodic cases are seen in the country alluding to active circulation of the rabies virus between the wild, livestock and domestic animals.

Officials within the Ministry of Health and BAHA will continue to monitor the situation and are encouraging residents to report any animals that are showing sign or rabies which includes tiredness, fever, vomiting, and anorexia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression, and/or self-mutilation.

The public is asked to take to the following measures as a precaution against rabies transmission: Keep domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, under control, vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies, report any sightings of strange-acting wild or domestic animals to BAHA, the Ministry of Health or a veterinarian, wash any bites or other areas of contact with potentially rabid animals immediately with soap and water and immediately go to a health clinic or emergency department for treatment of any animal bites. Any contact with potentially rabid animals should be reported to public health officials.