Warning against mongoose-transmitted rabies

Lamjung, January 30

Stakeholders in Lamjung have cautioned locals against possible rabies from mongoose.

The warning came after they found that rabies was spreading rapidly in the district headquarters Besisahar and adjoining areas due to rabies in mongoose in recent days.

District Livestock Office Chief Laxman Dhakal said they had captured a mongoose and taken it to the Regional Livestock Directorate for a test a few days ago.

“The test confirmed that the mongoose had rabies. We’ve been running various campaigns against the disease in the district, but so far they were largely focused on dogs. We didn’t realise that mongoose species are known to be vectors of the rabies virus,” said Dhakal.

The fact that rabies is also transmitted through wild animals, including wolves and jackals has come as a challenge to the local authorities, he said.

“If it were dogs, we could vaccinate them. But as even wild animals can spread the disease, we cannot monitor and vaccinate all wild animals. We have no option but to spread awareness against the disease and ask people to adopt preventive measures,” said Dhakal.

“After a few goats and buffaloes died of rabies a few weeks ago, we suspected that the cattle might have contracted the disease from mongoose bite,” said Dhakal.

Unscientific management of domestic waste can lead to the spread of rabies to wild animals. Though the occurrence of mongoose transmitted rabies has been reported from various countries, the occurrence of dog rabies has masked its importance.