Mazowieckie Voivodeship struggles with new animal rabies cases. Most cases of the disease are confirmed in wild animals such as foxes, but there are also isolated cases in domestic animals. For this reason, the Mazovian Voivode, Konstanty Radziwiłł, expanded the risk area to other regions, including the Legionowo poviat. What should pet owners in rabies risk areas be aware of?
Additional cases of rabies in animals have been recorded in Mazowieckie Voivodeship, mainly in free-living foxes. In 2021, 110 animal rabies cases were confirmed in Mazowieckie Voivodeship. Since the beginning of 2022, 20 cases of rabies have been diagnosed in Masovia. Recently, four more cases of the disease have been confirmed in three foxes (in Nowa Pogorzel, Warszawa – Białołęka, Wawer) and one cat (Hipolitów). Due to the growing number of infections detected, the Mazovian Voivode, Konstanty Radziwiłł, issued on April 15 this year. a regulation to extend the risk area for rabies.
In the regulation, Konstanty Radziwiłł specified areas at risk of rabies, including: the capital city of Warsaw, in the municipality of Minsk: the municipality of Dębe Wielkie, the municipality of Halinów, the municipality of Mińsk Mazowiecki, the municipality of Siennica, the municipality of Stanisławów, the municipality of Latowicz, the municipality of Cegłów town of Halinów, the town of Mińsk Mazowiecki, Sulejówek, Otwock poviat, Garwolin poviat, Kozienice poviat, Radom poviat, Radom town, Zwoleń poviat, Wołomin poviat, Szydłowiec poviat, Warsaw West poviat, poviatski Sochaczewski poviat and Nowodworski poviat Legionowo poviat†
photo: Journal of Mazowieckie . Voivodeship
Mandatory vaccination of animals against rabies in the affected area
On December 31, 2021, the Mazowieckie Voivode issued an order to vaccinate cats against rabies in an area at risk of developing this disease in animals. The first vaccination should be done within 30 days of the cat being three months old. The following should take place within one year of the date of the last vaccination.
Vaccination of dogs was previously mandatory (in Poland, dogs are required to be vaccinated from 3 months of age and at least 12 months from the date of the last vaccination). The owner can be fined up to PLN 500 for not vaccinating.
In the area where rabies is threatened, it is prohibited to organize fairs, exhibitions, competitions, shows with dogs, cats and other animals prone to rabies, as well as hunting and capturing game, except for the hygienic shooting of wild boars and individual hunting of wild boars without the participation of dogs and witch hunts and an order to keep dogs on a lead or in a fenced enclosure, and cats in confinement, to leave farm animals in circulars and in closed pens.
Attraction of the Mazowieckie Voivode
– I urge you to be careful when encountering unknown animals along the way. Even if we see an injured animal and want to help it, don’t touch it. Relevant services should be notified. Let’s not act on our own. We must also remember that vaccination against rabies in dogs is mandatory and cats are recommended, except for cats residing in the risk area, where their vaccination is mandatory – said Konstanty Radziwiłł.
Rabies is a contagious animal disease that affects the central nervous system of humans and warm-blooded animals. Rabies virus is resistant to rotting and freezing, but it is sensitive to heating (it survives 5 minutes at 60°C) and to most disinfectants. Rabies infection usually occurs as a result of a bite by a sick animal. Contamination is possible through contact with the saliva of a sick or infected animal. Rabies viruses initially attack the nerve endings of the damaged areas and then through the peripheral nerves of the brain. It is almost always fatal.
What to do if you are bitten, bitten or scratched by a wild animal?
- Clean the injured area thoroughly – wash the wound with warm water and soap, then disinfect and bandage it thoroughly (don’t block the blood prematurely, as blood can also flush out the virus from the wound),
- Contact your doctor immediately or call the ambulance service or 112 if the animal has been bitten by a wild animal and the animal cannot be observed veterinary for rabies. Get a rabies vaccination,
- In the case of pet bites, the owner of the animal must be identified (name, surname, address or telephone contact) to report it for veterinary observation for rabies. If it is not possible to determine the owner of the pet, get vaccinated against rabies.