Timor-Leste prepares to tackle the rabies virus

Timor-Leste prepares to tackle the rabies virus


DILI, 02 june 2023 (TATOLI)— Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery (MoAF) informed on Friday that, Timor-Leste is prepared to tackle the rabies virus which is currently found in Indonesia South Central Timor, NTT where the number of residents suspected of being infected with the Rabies virus has increased.

At the press conference, The Director General of Livestock and Veterinary in MoAF, Domingos Gusmão, revealed that Timor-Leste already has a national contingency plan for the prevention of the rabies virus which has been prepared since 2017 with the assistance of the Australian Government.

“Timor – Leste is prepared to handle this case of rabies if someone is infected with this virus. Therefore we call on everyone to stay calm with the information in social media because we have already made preparations,” Domingos Gusmão told reporters at the office of MoAF in Kampung Merdeka, Comoro Dili on friday. 

Despite Timor-Leste being prepared for this situation, Josefina João, Ministry of Health’s Vocal Point said, Gov’t has no plan to start the vaccine for animals and humans.

“So far there is no specific treatment for rabies cases, there is indeed a vaccine to prevent this virus. In Timor-Leste, we have not detected cases of rabies, therefore to realize a vaccine, need a discussion between the experts of Dr. in order not to the wrong decision,”

She added that the Ministry of Health will make efforts for the prevention process to prevent the virus.

Until now there have been 150 countries, especially in Africa and Asia, which have had an impact on rabies and the data shows that the chances of survival for those who are infected are very small.

“Rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and brain. If this brain is infected then the chances of survival are very slim. After passing the incubation period and causing symptoms, no medicine can fight the virus,” she explained.

The Vocal Point of International Health Regulations believes that eating processed/cooked dog meat does not pose a risk of being infected with rabies because the bacteria in dogs will surely die when cooked.

However, it is undeniable that individuals who process dog meat are susceptible to rabies infection because a bite and contact with dog saliva pose a strong risk of someone being infected with rabies.

At the same time, Gov’t both Ministries also appealed to the people of Timor-Leste to reduce their excessive fear of rabies and to remain calm.

Following the News from ANTARA published on (02/06), the Kupang Class I Agricultural Quarantine Center said that cases of dog bites, which have the potential to cause rabies transmission, were reported in 11 of 32 sub-districts in South Central of Nusa Tenggara Timur Indonesia.

Head of the Class I Agricultural Quarantine Center for Kupang, Yulius Umbu H, said that 107 people had been bitten by dogs in the South Central of Kupang.

According to Yulius Umbu, examinations have been carried out on 107 people who were bitten by dogs, and based on the results of the examination 13 people experienced symptoms similar to rabies.

Yulius said that vaccination had been carried out to prevent transmission of rabies. 22 people have received the first dose of anti-rabies vaccination.

Rabies prevention and control efforts have been increased following the death of a resident after being bitten by a dog suspected of being infected with rabies in Nusa Tenggara Province in Kupang Indonesia.

Rabies is a zoonosis, an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans. The disease caused by infection with the rabies virus can be transmitted through the bites, licks, or scratches of animals such as dogs, cats, monkeys, and monkeys that are infected with the virus.

MAP’s National Veterinary Director, Joanita Jong also explained that her party would start working with stages such as socialization in border areas, and special warnings for F-FDTL and UPF (Border Patrol Unit) to tighten guard considering that Indonesia and Timor-Leste have a land border. which still has illegal passers.

“We warn people who always cross the border illegally because if they bring dogs even though they don’t have signs of rabies, they could have been infected because the incubation period is quite long,” he said.

He explained the incubation period for the virus after infection was quite diverse, where the incubation period in animals was between 3-8 weeks, and the incubation period in humans varied, usually 2-8 weeks.

Several animals can specifically transmit rabies, which is referred to as Rabies Transmitting Animals (HPR). The HPRs that commonly transmit rabies are dogs, cats, bats, and monkeys.

The government also strictly prohibits hunting wild animals to be traded because there is a possibility of contracting rabies.



Journalist Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B.


Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!