14. September 2021 – 14:37 clock
Young dog died in veterinary clinic
Germany has been rabies-free for 13 years, but perhaps a puppy has brought the virus to Bremen with it. The young dog is said to have been illegally imported from Turkey by its owners in early September and died last week in a veterinary clinic in Lower Saxony. A rapid test has found an infection with rabies, the result of another test is still pending, it should be available on Thursday at the earliest. Nevertheless, the competent Bremen authorities are on alert.
Has there been a transfer?
According to the Bremen health authority, the puppy should not have infected other animals. However, it is unclear whether its owners or employees of veterinary practices could possibly have become infected. Rabies is a zoonosis, so it can be transmitted from animals to humans. Humans can become infected with rabies if, for example, they are bitten by an infected dog, saliva being the carrier. “Kisses” from the dog can also transmit rabies. “So far there have been no positive rabies results from contact persons. We cannot rule out that there were also infections in the close vicinity of the puppy,” said Health Senator Claudia Bernhard (Linke). The health department has identified eleven close contacts in Bremen. There are also employees at the Posthausen Veterinary Clinic, where the puppy was last treated.
Bremen is preparing
The health authority is taking the case seriously and is setting up crisis teams, and the clinics have also been informed of the possible infection. “In addition, a competence team with experts will be convened in Bremen to coordinate the next steps within Bremen,” says the health authority. They want to recognize and treat possible diseases early. “It is important, however, that the rabies virus is contagious, but that it is difficult to transmit from person to person. Accordingly, there is no risk outside of the puppy’s close environment,” said Health Senator Claudia Bernhard.
Veterinary clinic: “Endangering human and animal life accepted”
The veterinary clinic in Posthausen, where, according to its own statement, the rabies infection occurred, clarified the case on Facebook. In the long post, the clinic expresses anger at the owners: “This week we were introduced to a sick Kangal puppy who was brought to Germany from Turkey for well-intentioned reasons, but completely thoughtless.” Through this “thoughtless import” the “endangerment to human and animal life was accepted”.
Around 30 employees were still vaccinated the night after the infection was discovered, follow-up vaccinations would follow and employees in hospitals would also be treated. “But we can hope that none of our lives are in mortal danger,” it continues. The veterinary clinic wants to use the post to raise awareness of the issue.
These measures must be taken if rabies is suspected
There is a vaccination against rabies, but according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) it is only recommended for people who work with bats. A rabies vaccination for dogs is not mandatory, but recommended. When traveling within the EU, however, it must be possible to prove it in the case of a four-legged friend.
According to the RKI, if a person is bitten by an animal suspected of rabies, the wound should be washed out immediately. A subsequent vaccination should also be carried out. In the ideal case, a protective effect of 100 percent can be achieved in this way. (mba)