Mulanje — At least 19 people from Shaibu Village in Traditional Authority Mkanda in Mulanje have been recommended for rabies treatment after eating beef suspected to be of a rabid cow.
Mulanje District Hospital Integrated Diseases Surveillance and Response Coordinator, Masilina Kausiwa Msamanyada said the hospital received reports from Village Headman Shaibu on January 24, 2019 to the effect that over 130 people in his area ate beef suspected to be of an infected cow which was bitten by a rapid dog.
Msamanyada said following the tip, Mulanje District Hospital Rapid Response Team (DRRT) was sent for an investigation on January 26, where they confirmed the incident and assessed the affected people.
"The team found that the cow had been sick for almost four days following the dog bite in December, 2018 which was suspected to be rabid," she said.
"It was unable to eat anything and it was salivating and later it could not walk to the field for grazing since it was unable to stand. Finally, the owner decided to slaughter the cow on January 19 and sold the meat to the community," Msamanyada said.
She added: "After confirming the incident, we managed to screen 137 people in the village of which 19 were recommended for rabies vaccine."
However, Msamanyada said as a hospital, they only targeted individuals who were in direct contact with the fresh meat to get medication while the rest were being monitored.
The report also indicated that two more people were bitten by the same dog and that they were referred to Mulanje District Veterinary Office where they were all recommended for rabies vaccine and received full treatment in December 2018.
Currently, Mulanje District Health Office (DHO) has allocated rabies vaccine for the 21 people at Kambenje Health Centre near the village for doses.
Meanwhile, Mulanje DHO is liaising with the veterinary department to brief all farmers on the recommended procedures to be followed when slaughtering animals for sale so that it should be fully inspected and certified for human consumption.