The Jakarta Globe reports that Bali has lifted a rabied health alert in place since 2008.
A dramatic decrease in cases has precipitated the lifting of the health alert. In explaining the change in rabies alert status, Nyoman Sutedja of the Bali Health Agency said, “rabies has now declined to an endemic level and there have been no deaths reported his year."
Government statistics show 26 people died in 2011, down from 83 in 2010.
Dog bites remain high, but have also significantly reduced. 50,628 bites were reported in 2011, less than the 67,021 bites one year before. In 2009, only 21,806 bites were recorded.
Bali authorities are still working to educate the public on the importance of obtaining a vaccine shot as soon as possible after being bitten by a dog. In 2011, only 47,827 (94.4%) of a total 50,628 reported bite cases received vaccine.
Explained Sutedja, “The people who were not given the vaccine were usually in remote areas that couldn’t be reached by our rabies center, and some of them decided that because their injury was small, they probably weren’t at risk."
The drop in rabies cases follows a mass vaccination and elimination program carried out by the government on Bali's dog population.
[Down for the Count?]
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