The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started a rabies intervention in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after an alarming number of people were bitten by rabid dogs. With ten deaths already reported, the emergency intervention aims to prevent any further fatalities from this neglected disease.
The targeted response in the affected Lemera health zone in the province of South Kivu involves a team vaccinating people who have been bitten or scratched by a suspected rabid dog and administering post-exposure rabies treatment where necessary .
Effective treatment soon after exposure to rabies can prevent the onset of symptoms and a painful death. Without treatment prior to the onset of severe symptoms, rabies is almost invariably fatal.
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