Rabies detected in northeast Thailand
Residents of Nong Phai Noi village in Buriram province, northeast Thailand, are pleading with the authorities to take urgent action after two people were bitten by a dog infected with rabies.
The dog bit a pregnant cow which dropped dead two weeks later.
On January 10, 65 year old local man Sawat Palertlam was attending to his cows when a stray dog came out of nowhere, chased him, and bit him. He said he didn’t know where the dog came from.
The farmer said the stray dog was acting “insane” as if it was rabid.
Sawat later found out that the same dog had bitten a young girl, the daughter of a teacher in the village, and attempted to bite others.
Suspecting the animal was rabid, villagers killed and buried it in fear it could bite more people, pets, or livestock.
The farmer and girl who were bitten received emergency rabies shots.
Another farmer, 52 year old Sarayut Phuangpratin, said that a four-month-pregnant cow was bitten by a stray dog.
Two weeks later, the pregnant cow started having abnormal symptoms, was moaning, and appeared irritated. A few days later, on January 31, the cow dropped dead.
Sarayut called the Department of Livestock Development and sent officials out to investigate.
The dead cow was decapitated and its head was sent away for testing. The cow was found to be infected with rabies.
Sarayut said he took all his family for rabies shots in case they were exposed to the virus from being around the sick cow.
However, Sarayut said he fears for the remaining 11 cows he has as they stayed in the same enclosure with the rabid cow, drank the same water and licked the same salt (salt licking is when cows lick important minerals from rock salt planted by a farmer.)
The farmer said he wants the Livestock Department officials to vaccinate his cows too and would also appreciate 30,000 baht in compensation as he could have sold the rabid cow for that price.
It’s not clear at this stage whether the department is willing to meet his requests.
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