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Human rabies increasing problem in China
The elevation of the dog from culinary item to household companion in Chinese society is being accompanied by an unexpected increase in the burden of cases of human rabies. Previous reports from China have described the containment of canine rabies in the capital by the licensing and compulsory vaccination of domestic pets.

China`s booming southern province of Guangdong has reported more than 300 deaths from rabies [during 2005], the highest number in a decade,
as its increasingly affluent population buys more dogs, state media said on Thursday [8 Jun 2006].

Rabies killed 306 people in the province last year, up 24.9 percent from 2004, the China Daily said. `As living standards keep increasing, more people feed dogs, and this increased contact means more chance of infection,` Professor Guo Xiaofeng of the South China Agriculture University (SCAU) was quoted as saying.

Pet dogs were shunned in the days of Mao Zedong as a symbol of bourgeois decadence and dog is still a popular restaurant dish. But pets have become increasingly popular in the last decade with improved living standards.

During 2005, 330 000 people sought treatment for rabies in Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, and 500 000 were vaccinated. There were 1.5 million reported dog bites or scratches.

Guo also said that education about rabies in rural areas, where most infections took place, was important to encourage people to vaccinate
their dogs against the disease.

Some 2660 people died of rabies in China in 2004, according to Ministry of Health figures.



Source: www.promedmail.org


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