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‘Dogs are the enemy’: Rabies kills 20 in Payinjiar County

Bonifacio Taban
Reports from Payinjiar County indicate that 20 have died and 10 more are ill with the rabies virus, after being bitten by local dogs in July.
31.07.2012  |  Bentiu
A dog in Payinjiar.
A dog in Payinjiar.

Having run out of medication, Payinjiar County authorities now plan to cull local canines.

Dogs have become the enemy in Payinjiar, a county in South Sudan’s Unity State. I have seen dogs become the enemy,” 23-year-old local, Wang Kai Ding, says. Now we must stay at home.”

Ding was bitten by a dog recently and, considering rabies can take about a week to manifest, he now fears for his life. Over the past fortnight, the area has reported almost two dozen deaths from rabies and almost a dozen infected.

County medical officials said that they ran out medicine to treat rabies before suggesting that dogs in the area be culled. Additionally the roads in Payinjiar are so bad that it is difficult to seek treatment elsewhere.

The county’s commissioner, Peter Gai Joak, agreed, saying that dogs in the area should be killed and that any dog owners should check that their own animals were not infected.

A lack of medication means that there is nothing more that can really be done, the commissioner explained.