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A Hair from the Dog

Rabies Confirmation in Feral Dogs Near Ubud, Bali Represents a Setback in Baliís Battle to Eliminate Disease

(7/19/2013) Laboratory tests conducted by Balinese veterinarians have confirmed the rabies virus in a wild street dog that bit five people in the Petulu community of Gianyar, near Ubud.

Beritabali.com quotes the head of Bali’s Animal Husbandry and Livestock Health Service, Putu Sumantra, saying that one of the obstacles to fighting rabies in Bali is the presences of packs of feral dogs in many areas of the island.

The packs of wild dogs tend to live in jungle areas or open savannahs in Bali. In their hunt for food, the dogs often venture into villages and populated urban areas.

Sumantra added: “The rabies virus has a long incubation period. Perhaps the rabid dog was once bitten by another infected dog hiding in the forest as long as six-months or one-year ago. Perhaps, also, the infected dog fostered puppies, meaning the mother and the puppies are also infected with rabies.”

Sumantra said that until July 2013 only 2 positive cases of rabies have been recorded in Bali during the current year. All these cases have been linked to feral dogs. The five people who were bitten by the rabid dog come from Dusun Kutuh Kelod in the village of Desa Petulu in Ubud.

Two of the five victims suffered serious wounds requiring emergency medical care at a local hospital while the remaining three were treated as outpatients.