Date: 20 Jan 2018
Source: QCostarica [edited]
The National Animal Health Service has issued an alert for Canoas de Corredores, in the Southern Zone. The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal (Senasa) -- National Animal Health Service -- says it has detected the 1st bovine paralytic rabies outbreak of the year .
The finding was made in Canoas de Corredores, in the Southern Zone, specifically, in the Guayabal farm, where 5 cattle died due to the disease.
The affected farm has an exposed population of 40 animals. Senasa established sanitary and quarantine measures on the affected farm. In addition, the Senasa has begun the capturing of vampire-bats to lower the existing population of this flying mammal, which transmits rabies.
The exposed animals (cattle and dogs) are being protected through vaccination.
Senasa is also coordinating with the Corredores Hospital and the area Ministry of Health office to vaccinate people who were in contact with the infected animals.
Rabies is a viral disease affecting the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, including humans. It causes lack of coordination, difficulty walking, salivation, paralysis of the legs that prevents getting up, twisting of the neck, and, finally, death.
Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. For this reason, anyone who may have a risk of contracting rabies should receive rabies vaccines for protection.
Seek immediate medical care if you're bitten by any animal, or exposed to an animal suspected of having rabies. The 1st signs of rabies may be very similar to the flu and may last for days. Later signs and symptoms may include:
Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing
It occurs with certain periodicity as part of the dynamics of the sylvatic cycle of the disease. Senasa applies established protocols to respond to outbreaks.
Specialists recommend avoiding contact with sick animals with nervous signs, burying animal carcasses, vaccinating animals and immediately reporting any suspicious cases to the nearest Senasa office.
In 2017, Senasa detected 2 outbreaks of bovine paralytic rabies in San Vito de Coto Brus.
In other health alerts, Senasa issued on 9 Jan 2018 an alert case of Venezuelan equine encephalitis in Palmira, Carrillo, Guanacaste.
"Vampire bats preferentially prey on livestock. Livestock and horses are generally larger than indigenous wildlife prey species, are more abundant and tend to stay in the same location for extended periods. Once a colony of vampire bats has located a herd of animals, they are then able to return to the same herd on subsequent nights. This is particularly true for cattle.
Humans have also provided vampire bats with roosting sites in the form of buildings, bridges, and wells. This in turn has contributed to an increase in the number and size of vampire bat colonies, and enlarged the population that can act as a reservoir for rabies virus. Deforestation, a consequence of land clearance for logging and modification for agriculture has simultaneously reduced the numbers of natural prey species and brought vampire bats into contact with livestock and man.
Bovine rabies in Latin America is commonly called derriengue, a Spanish word for a fatal paralytic disease. The infected animals exhibit signs of restlessness or excitement with sudden onset of hind limb paralysis. This progresses to the fore limbs. Overt salivation is commonly observed but is believed to be due to difficulties in swallowing rather than excess saliva production. Emaciation in animals that survive for any length of time is observed but the disease is invariably fatal.
There are 3 species of blood feeding or hematophagous bats found exclusively in Latin America. Only one of these, the common vampire bat _Desmodus rotundus_, is a well-known reservoir for rabies.