Bites from stray dogs must be treated quickly - MEC

Gauteng Agriculture MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has urged people who are bitten by stray dogs to act...

Immunisation against diseases such as measles are crucial. Picture: stock.xchng

Gauteng Agriculture MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza has urged people who are bitten by stray dogs to act quickly to prevent rabies infection.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

It has been confirmed that a two-year-old <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Soweto girl, who died in hospital last month, had contracted the virus after being bitten by a neighbour’s pet.

Rabies is almost always fatal, unless patients are treated before the onset of severe symptoms.

Mayathula-Khoza said time is of the essence if someone is exposed to the virus.

“When our children or any human being gets bitten by a stray dog in particular or a neighbour’s dog, they must quickly wash the wound but they must still go to the doctor because this disease is preventable, so if you do something quickly, then you will not die,” she said.

The MEC said the province’s rabies vaccination campaign is going very well but has once again urged pet owners to ensure their animals are immunised.