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CAPE TOWN: After Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha confirmed two dogs were infected with rabies, another local clinic has stepped in to help vaccinate cats and dogs in the community.
SA. MAST Animal Clinic said they are assisting the Department of Agriculture (DoA), to vaccinate as many cats and dogs as possible, against the deadly zoonotic disease.
Mdzananda’s Isel Esterhuizen said the first dog came in two weeks ago, while the second one came last week Monday, and they received lab results confirming rabies last week Thursday.
“We don’t know the origin of the infection yet. Tracking and tracing is being done by the Health Department,” she said.
SA. MAST said, in a statement, that so far – and over the course of two days – the animal welfare team have vaccinated about 150 cats and dogs in the Makhaya area. The vaccine, needles and syringes for this specific outreach are being supplied by the DoA, and efforts to vaccinate are ongoing.
According to the statement, the department have confirmed that the source of infection is traced back to the very large Makhaya area in Khayelitsha. It is still a mystery as to how two dogs – one allegedly from Khayelitsha and the other from Delft – both became infected in Makhaya.
Founder and director of SA. MAST Tamsin Nel said should a total rabies outbreak in Khayelitsha ever actually take place, it would be everyone’s worst nightmare.
“It would spread like wildfire, beyond the boundaries of this massive township, and leave unimaginable devastation, heartbreak, and suffering in its wake. Rabies, like Covid-19 is a zoonotic disease, with its origins stemming from an infected animal,” said Nel.