Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Health is aiming to eliminate rabies in humans due to dog bite in Indonesia by 2030 through continuous mass dog vaccination, the ministry's Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Director Imran Pambudi stated.

In order to eliminate rabies in humans, the primary intervention lies with administering vaccines to dogs, he explained during an online press conference on Friday.

"If the rabies carriers are still running around and unprotected by vaccine, they can still infect it," he pointed out.

He outlined two rabies control strategies, namely general strategy and technical strategy.

The general strategy involves management of bite cases, provision of Communication, Information and Education (KIE), provision of regulatory support, and public involvement.

Meanwhile, technical strategy concerns vaccination of animals, epidemiology surveillance and analysis, diagnostic evaluation, quick response and handling of suspected animals, animal traffic monitoring, and dog population management.

Symptoms of rabies in humans in the early stage comprise fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, insomnia, severe headaches, sore throat, and frequent pain.

The other symptoms thereafter experienced are tingling or burning sensation at the site of the bite, anxiety, as well as phobias, namely hydrophobia, aerophobia, and photophobia before death.

Meanwhile, animals infected with rabies become vicious and disobedient toward their owners, are unable to chew, and become paralyzed.

Moreover, their mouths remain open and they drool profusely; they hide in cool, dark places; curl their tails below their belly between the thighs; as well as experience convulsions followed by death.

"Animals with asymptomatic rabies do not show any symptoms, but they die out of nowhere," Pambudi stated.

During the event, Pambudi also said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the factors behind the rise in rabies cases in Indonesia.

This is because during the era of COVID-19, all vaccinations for pets were halted, he explained.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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