A pediatrician and a lecturer at the KNUST School of Medical Sciences is pushing for a stiffer punishment for persons whose pets bite or scratch and pass on rabies to humans.
Dr. Anthony Enimil says it is about time the laws of this country are tested on this to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Who is responsible to make sure that dogs and cats are immunized, somebody should be held responsible one way or the other. We should search into the laws , people should be prosecuted,” Dr. Enimil complained.
The pediatrician’s call follows the upsurge of rabies especially in the Ashanti Region which has so far killed seven people, most of whom were children.
On Tuesday another rabies related death was recorded at the Komfo Anokye Teaching involving a 10 year old child who suffered a scratch from a cat suspected to be suffering from rabies.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm-blooded animals.
The disease is spread to humans from another animal, commonly by a bite or scratch.
Early symptoms may include fever and tingling, followed by either violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, and fear of water or an inability to move parts of the body and confusion followed by loss of consciousness.
The time period between contracting the disease and the start of symptoms is usually one to three months.
It could also vary from less than one week to more than one year. The time is dependent on the distance the virus must travel to reach the central nervous system.
In both cases, once symptoms appear, it always results in death.
In spite of the upsurge, Regional Director of Veterinary Services in the Ashanti region, Dr. Kofi Kwansah-Filson feared many people could die from the disease if funds were not released for the mass vaccination of dogs and cats.
He said the situation was alarming because “we are not vaccinating many more pets as we used to do 10-15 years ago. Even the human deaths are very alarming.”
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