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Taiwan confirms 12th ferret-badger with rabies


20:21, July 29, 2013

TAIPEI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan on Monday confirmed that a twelfth ferret-badger is infected with rabies, according to the island's animal and plant health inspection and quarantine authorities.

The latest case was found in central Taiwan's Nantou County.

As of Sunday, 55 suspected cases of rabies in wild animals had been reported. Of the total suspected cases, the rabies virus had been confirmed in 12 ferret-badgers, a small mammal of the mustelidae family, 36 cases tested negative for rabies and seven cases could not be verified.

A rabies outbreak among ferret-badgers has been found in central, southern and southeastern parts of the island.

To avoid creating panic among the public, Taiwan's health authorities have urged local media not to exaggerate reports on the rabies outbreak.

According to health authorities, 300 animal epidemic prevention staff members will be vaccinated on Monday. About 3,000 people are expected to be given shots in the next three weeks.

Taiwan reported finding rabies in three ferret-badgers to the World Organization for Animal Health on July 17.

From July 21 to Sunday, 145 people have applied for rabies vaccinations. Among them, only 66 were at-risk and needed vaccination, according to the island's health authorities.

Prior to these cases, Taiwan had been certified as rabies-free since 1959 by the World Organization for Animal Health.

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