At least five human cases of rabies have been confirmed in South Africa since December last year and it has been recorded in patients from Mpumalanga as well according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. The six rabies cases nationally involved exposure to rabid domestic dogs and cats.
Other animals and not just dogs and cats may also become infected with rabies virus and transmit the virus to humans. The virus is present in the saliva of the carrier animal and can be transmitted to humans through bites, scratches and wounds that break the skin whereby infected saliva enters this human body.
Rabies can be controlled in animals through annual rabies vaccinations. The disease can be fatal if not treated immediately.