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[Health] Incidence of rabies low in Shenzhen
Latest Updated by 2006-08-16 08:53:06
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THANKS to a free vaccination system adopted in 2003, only one rabies case has been reported in Shenzhen this year, according to the Shenzhen center for disease prevention and control (CDC).

A girl from Gaozhou in Guangdong died of rabies in Shenzhen after she came to visit her father in Bao'an District on July 28. She was scratched by a cat in her hometown days before.

The city is going to further ensure that all dogs are vaccinated by combining dog vaccination with dog registration and fining the owners of unregistered and unvaccinated dogs later this year, says the city's urban administration bureau. A SIM chip will be planted in every registered dog, carrying registration and vaccination information.

Luo Qiuhui, director of the Shenzhen animal vaccination supervision institute, estimated that there are about 120,000 to 130,000 dogs in Shenzhen and nearly 80,000 dogs were vaccinated in the first half of this year. "Given that dogs are required to be vaccinated once a year, some dog owners choose to have their dogs vaccinated in the latter half of the year. Some even give their dogs shots twice a year. Most dogs in Shenzhen are regularly vaccinated," Luo said.

Dogs are given free rabies shots every April and September, regardless of whether they are registered or not. Dog owners can also take their dogs to be vaccinated at other times in the city's 25 animal vaccination centers free of charge.

Last year, seven cases of rabies occurred in Shenzhen, only one of whom was a local resident. The other six had visited other cities before coming to Shenzhen.

However, most dogs in Shenzhen are unregistered. Only 2,056 dogs had been registered by the end of last year, the Shenzhen Evening News report said, quoting insiders. A total of 19,907 people were bitten by dogs in the first six months of this year, 5,000 more than in the same period last year, the CDC said.

To encourage more people to have their dogs registered, the dog management fee was slashed to 300 yuan (US$37.5) from 2,000 yuan annually, and the owners have been exempted from the initial registration fee of 5,000 yuan from July 1. "All the registered dogs will have a SIM chip planted under the skin. All the information on the dogs, including whether they have hurt or bitten people, whether they are regularly vaccinated, can be traced through the chip," said an official surnamed Cai with the urban administration bureau.

Editor: Wing

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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