Mbarara District veterinary officer William Mwebembezi has issued an alert about the outbreak of rabies and told the public to be extra careful with stray dogs.
Mr Mwebembezi said rabies has claimed lives of three children who were bitten by a stray dog in Nsiika village, Kagongi Sub-county in Kashari County two weeks ago.
A grandmother of one of the deceased children is hospitalised at Ruharo Mission Hospital after her grandchild bit her. Dr Mwebembezi said other cases of rabies have been confirmed in Rugando Rwampara.
He said dogs and other pets in the district have spent more than three years without being vaccinated due to lack of vaccines in government stores.
“All those with dogs should ensure they are released after 10pm and chained by 8am. Failure to execute the directive, police have been authorised to shoot and kill on spot any stray dog to prevent them from attacking people and spreading the deadly disease,” Dr Mwebembezi said on Friday.
He called upon household heads to cooperate and also buy vaccine against rabies from private pharmacies and vaccinate their dogs. He said cost ranges between Shs20,000 and Shs30,000.
The deceased are Rita Tumushabe, a pupil of Nsiika Primary School, Crescent Namara, 5 and Robert Tumwebaze, 7.
Dr Mwebembezi said he has sent communication to all sub-counties about the threat urging the public to quickly report to the local veterinary staff any case of dog bite for timely management.
He said when signs of rabies have shown it is impossible to reverse the condition of the victim.
The animal husbandry officer in charge Kagongi Sub-county, Mr Patrick Kariito, said when the parents learnt their children had been bitten by a stray dog they decided to treat the children from herbalists. He said they disclosed the information to the sub-county authorities after burying the third child on July 11.
Symptoms of rabies
A person with rabies releases a lot of saliva, bites any object, becomes apprehensive, and loses appetite, eyes become red and backbone gets paralysed. One cannot live beyond two weeks without treatment.