Suspected rabies has broken out in Chinsali district of Muchinga Province leaving one person dead.
Provincial Veterinary Officer Kabwe Puta confirmed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Chinsali yesterday.
Dr Puta said recently three people had been reported bitten by stray dogs in Kaluyapusa area while another boy was bitten in Mulilansolo area and has since died.
He said in the past two months over 105 people have been bitten by stray dogs in the district causing fear among the residents.
Dr Puta said 15 dogs bites have also been reported in Chinsali town.
He attributed the increase in dog bites in the area to people keeping more than two dogs per household which he said is against the law.
He explained that most of the dogs were not vaccinated adding that most pet owners fail to take them for vaccination despite using them for hunting purposes.
He said the Veterinary Department in the province has put up measures to control the disease adding that 350 doses of vaccines have been procured.
Dr Puta however lamented that the department only managed to purchase 350 doses of vaccines against a population 11 000 due to inadequate resources.
He explained that this means that about 10 000 dogs will not be vaccinated therefore posing a great danger to the people.
Dr Puta explained that the department had also written and submitted a budget to their headquarters in Lusaka and was awaiting a response.
He said the department has engaged other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, Police and the Council to help with other logistics for the awareness campaign which is currently underway.
Dr Puta further told ZANIS that the veterinary department had gone a mile further to do massive sensitization to enlighten the residents on the dangers of rabies as well as interpreting information about rabies into the local Bemba language.
Dr Puta pointed out that it was more expensive to treat rabies in a human being than to vaccinate a dog adding that anti rabies for people cost about K400 for a patient while the vaccines for dogs only cost K40 per 10 dogs.