Although six months have passed since the last recorded case of rabies in our poviat, this does not mean that the problem has gone away. During the conference, Deputy Starosta Marek Ziędalski, district veterinarian Andrzej Koryś and district sanitation inspector in Garwolin, Dorota Brojek, spoke about the facts about this disease, threats and limitations.
The conference was organized on the initiative of the County Veterinary Doctor Andrzej Korys. It was started by the vice starosta Marek Ziędalski. He noted that the rabies problem in Mazovia returned after a break of a few years. – It’s a very important topic. Rabies is a deadly disease for humans, so we cannot underestimate this risk – he stressed. He recalled that the first case of this disease was registered in the poviat on April 7, 2021, when a dead fox was found on an uninhabited recreation area in Wola Władysławowska. After a few days, the infection was confirmed. There, too, the County Veterinary Doctor named the county’s first rabies outbreak.
Since even more cases of this disease were detected in animals in Masovia, the voivode Mazowieckie determined the risk area in April last year in the districts of Otwock, Minsk, Garwolin and the capital Warsaw. It contains a number of recommendations, among others. an order to tie up dogs and cats, or marking the risk area with signs posted at area boundaries, roads, footpaths, footpaths and parking lots.
16 cases of rabies in the province by November 2021
Until November last year, 16 cases of rabies were recorded in our poviat, including 14 foxes, 1 raccoon dog and 1 cat. They were detected in 8 municipalities: 5 cases in the municipality of Garwolin, 3 in the municipality of Wilga, 2 in the municipality of Parysów and Pilawa and 1 in the municipality of Maciejowice, Górzno, the municipality of Łaskarzew and the city of Łaskarzew. No new infections have been reported since November.
PLW and the Poviat Sanitary and Epidemiological Station conducted outreach activities, including: distributing leaflets encouraging the vaccination of dogs and cats. Information about rabies and actions to vaccinate foxes was posted in public places or on local government websites.
Andrzej Koryś emphasized that rabies is a very serious disease of humans and animals.
– For several years we have practically forgotten about this disease. This was the result of years of vaccinating wild foxes with vaccines dropped from airplanes. We have not observed any new infections in wild animals. In our area, the vaccination campaign was completed in 2019, and a population of animals that have not been vaccinated appeared, he explained the causes of new cases of the disease.
The infections first appeared in the Otwock poviat. Over time, the disease was discovered in other areas. As A. Koryś recalled, the ordinance of the voivode currently covers the area from the border of Mazowieckie Voivodeship in the south to Gostyniński poviat in the north, along the whole course of Vistula in Mazowieckie Voivodeship. Many cases of rabies have been reported in the capital Warsaw.
– No new cases of rabies have been found in animals this year, which does not absolve us from vigilance – A. Koryś reserved, adding that rabies occurs in free-living animals in the Otwock, Minsk, Rycki poviats in the Lublin region and Grójec poviats on the other side of the Vistula.
“It may be a matter of time before she reappears with us,” he noted.
Bans and orders
The provincial governor’s ordinance entails a number of orders, orders and prohibitions to limit the number of new cases and lead to the eradication of the virus from the wild animal population. Some relate to specific professional groups, for example the ban on collective hunting or the ban on organizing shows, exhibitions, competitions in which animals susceptible to this disease participate.
– Special prohibitions apply to the keeping of dogs and cats for the general population. This regulation stipulates that dogs may only be led on a leash outside their habitual residence. Dogs cannot fast loose in woods, by the water, by the river, because then we lose control of the animal and we are not fully aware of what this animal might have had contact with. – stated PLW.
The ordinance also prohibits the release of stray cats.
– This point is particularly difficult to apply, especially in rural areas, where cats are animals without much supervision – added A. Koryś.
From January 1, all cats older than 3 months must be vaccinated. You can do it at any veterinary office for a fee. The doctor noted that this was especially important because the first case of rabies in a pet in our province was discovered in a cat that functioned both indoors and outdoors.
Failure to vaccinate a sick person leads to death
– Before finding rabies, the cat managed to bite the owner, host and nearby bystanders. Without the vigilance of bitten people, tragedy could occur, because contact between humans and a sick animal – which causes a break in the continuity of tissues in humans, ie scratching, biting, licking the wound – causes infection. Failure to vaccinate such a person leads to death. There is no spontaneous recovery from a person infected with rabies. If the vaccination system is not introduced in time, the person has no chance of survival – emphasized A. Koryś.
Rabies messages will continue to be posted to remind people of the threat, he said. – Although foxes are the most susceptible to infection, rabies is a disease of all warm-blooded animals, from rodents to bats. Contact with wild animals requires a lot of caution, you should not approach, pet, take home, try to heal or feed wild animals. Healthy wild animals avoid contact with people, but sick animals change their behavior. Sick foxes can roam and even rooms. You should report it to the local government, clinic or PLW, but don’t try to deal with it yourself. We have an example in Mazovia where a wild animal entered the yard, bit the cows, was killed and thrown out of the yard. It was only by chance that they reacted and found the dead animal. It turned out to be furious. The County Veterinary Doctor in charge of the area had to euthanize the cows that had been bitten – the doctor said. In addition, the regulation prohibits the grazing of farm animals on pastures and pastures.
A. Koryś emphasized that in the regions where the cases of disease occurred, society responded correctly. – Last year we carried out extensive inspections in two places in the municipalities of Wilga and Garwolin. We walked from buildings to buildings, checking the vaccinations of dogs and cats. It turned out that the animals that had been vaccinated in the yard had been vaccinated – he noted, adding that it is not possible to check all places.
– Every bite must be reported. The animal that bitten is followed for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, we can say whether the animal was infected on the day of the bite, because the symptoms should become visible at that time – said A. Koryś.
Go to the doctor immediately after biting
Dorota Brojek – County Plumbing Inspector in Garwolin, explained what to do when dealing with an animal bite.
– It is absolutely necessary to see a doctor. The doctor will refer you to a rabies vaccination clinic and decide what to do next. In addition, he completes the ZLK report, which is sent to the State County Sanitary Inspection. On this basis, employees of the sanitary inspection contact the bitten person to conduct an epidemiological interview and establish the data of the animal that caused the bite. When the owner of the animal is known, the sanitary inspectorate reports the details of the bitten and the owner of the animal in writing to the District Vet for observation, which lasts two weeks. After the sighting is completed, the copy of PLW is delivered to PPIS. If the observation is positive – that is, nothing has happened – we consider the case closed. When a bitten animal is lost, it is advisable to vaccinate the bitten animal as soon as possible. The doctor will refer the patient to an infectious disease clinic – explained the director.
As for the inhabitants of our poviat, the vaccinations take place at the Provincial Infectious Hospital at ul. Wolska in Warsaw and at the City Hospital at ul. Starowiejska in Siedlce. There are two vaccination schedules: a 4-dose vaccine or a 5-dose vaccine. The doctor in the clinic determines which scheme is chosen. If a person does not take vaccinations, the Sanepid sends letters to remind them of the need for vaccination.
12 vaccinations this year
In 2021, the PSSE station in Garwolin registered 14 cases of vaccination. This year – no later than 15 May – already 12 vaccinations. There was no case of rabies in people in the poviat.
Andrzej Koryś added at the end that there are currently refugees from Ukraine in our area. Some of them have dogs or cats. – We ask them to come to the veterinary clinic to check whether the dog or cat has been vaccinated against rabies. If they do not have documents confirming the vaccination, the Polish veterinary services will chip, vaccinate and issue the appropriate documents confirming the legalization of the stay and the confirmed vaccination. These vaccinations are carried out at the expense of the state budget – the doctor explained.
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