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Rabies scare in Mutare


MUTARE residents could be sitting on a health time bomb following reports that unvaccinated dogs are straying on the streets and attacking residents.

Report by Obey Manayiti

Residents said they suspected some of the dogs could be infected with rabies.

Although council’s acting director of health services, Simon Mashababe, could neither confirm nor deny the outbreak, several residents said they were now living in fear of rabid dogs following the recent death of a 63-year-old man Martin Chiunda, who succumbed to dog attacks.

Chiunda was reportedly mauled by his own dog at his Darlington home in Mutare over the weekend. He later died at Mutare General Hospital.
“We are not aware of any outbreak, but we have several programmes we are implementing to reduce morbidity from rabies. We are working together with Veterinary Services Department to fight rabies and that programme is on,” said Mashababe.

“We are trying as much as possible to reduce stray dogs on the streets and we are working with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to minimise the existence of such dogs on the streets,” he said.

Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Enock Chishiri yesterday confirmed Chiunda’s death, adding the police suspected the dog could have been infected with rabbis.

“He was rushed to Mutare Provincial Hospital where he was treated and discharged. However, on Sunday, Chiunda was taken back to hospital after his condition deteriorated. At the hospital, he fell down from an examination table and died in the midst of anexamination by a doctor,” Chishiri said.

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