Health officials have struggled to contain the Taiwan outbreak since July 17, when a ferret badger in the southern part of the island was confirmed as rabid. Since then, 17 more ferret badger cases have been confirmed, and the case of a rabid Asian house shrew reported Wednesday indicates the disease is jumping species. No humans or dogs have yet been involved in the outbreak.
Health Minister Chiu-Wen-ta says the new human vaccine doses are expected to arrive Friday and will supplement some 3,000 in stock.
Health workers have been vaccinating animals in central and southern Taiwan to try to control the outbreak. The island currently has some 40,000 animal-use dosages in stock, with an additional half million expected by Aug. 20.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in warm-blooded animals. It can spread from one species to another, usually through bites. If untreated, it is fatal.
Before last month, Taiwan’s last reported rabies case was in 1959. A dog bit a farmer, whose wife became infected after washing the farmer’s rabies-tainted clothing; the farmer himself did not contract the disease.
Now, the only jurisdictions world health officials consider rabies-free are Iceland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, and Guam.
More Nation & World Headlines
Trump refuses to rule out third-party run in GOP debate 6:22 p.m. 5 things to watch for in first GOP presidential debate McConnell to Obama: Stop demonizing Iran deal opponents Democratic debates: 6 to be held starting in October ‘Unarmed’ white teen was shot dead by police. His family asks: Where is the outrage? Police chief: Fatal shooting of armed suspect justified Shreveport police: Officer shot, killed; manhunt ongoing Arrest made in shooting outside Big Sean-J. Cole concert
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.