From Isabelle Paquet-Durand:
Please be aware: BAHA has confirmed bovine paralytic rabies as the cause of death in cattle in 12 farms in three districts: Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo Districts. An increase in cattle deaths has been reported since January 2016 with a peak in June 2016. The vampire bat is the vector for bovine paralytic rabies and 1 or 2 farms being affected with rabies cases are expected per year. This current increase is an epidemic. This puts animal and human health at high risk.
People should avoid contact with any animal showing nervous signs, avoid handling wild animals and avoid exposure to vampire bats and other bats.
The last epidemic of rabies in cattle was in 1999 (period 1980 - 2015). In Belize rabies has been known to occur in dogs and cats (last case in 2008), wildlife (last cases in foxes in 2006 ) and in humans (last cases in 1989).
Rabies is a highly fatal disease that affects all mammals, including humans. The disease is always fatal but can be prevented through vaccination. Although laboratory confirmation is essential, affected animals will usually show nervous signs and aggressive behavior. Most animals will show paralysis of the hind limbs, may be down and have excessive salivation. Avoid handling animals showing these clinical signs and immediately call BAHA animal health officers.
Additional information can be obtained from BAHA animal health officers, registered Veterinarians and livestock officers of the Department of Agriculture in the districts.
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