In the wake of the Rabies outbreak in the Metro, which resulted in the death of two unrelated children and a number of rabid animals that were reported, a district joint operation center (JOC) was activated led by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD). The JOC included, the Buffalo City Health District, Private vet organization, state vets, Municipal Health Services amongst others.

One of the concerns that was raised by private vets was a sturdy increase in the number of rabid dogs that were in controlled environment or leashed. It was suspected that rats maybe be the carrier of this virus from the wild to the households, where dogs will eat or fight with the rats thereby getting infected from the virus without contact with other mammals or dogs/ cats.

The Vector Control Section under the Municipal Health Services department was then tasked to embarked on a surveillance program within the Metro, trapping rats in various locations of the city. The rats were trapped and kept in a humane manner before they were presented to the SPCA. The SPCA further submitted the rats once dead to the DALRRD laboratory facility for analysis. The rats were therefore tested for rabies. All rats that were submitted tested negative of Rabies.

The City therefore, continues to expand its vector surveillance program to ensure that we eliminate any possible spread of Rabies in our communities. The Metro encourages all its dwellers who keep oR own mammals/ dogs or cats to take them to the nearest state vet clinics for a free immunization. Hunters are also requested to be responsible and immunize their hunting animals/ dogs.