Rabid bats attack Peruvians17th August 2010
Rabid bats have attacked at least 500 people in rural Peru.
Most of the victims are from the Aguajun tribe, who live near the Amazon river.
The Peruvian ministry of health said that four children are thought to have died as a result of the outbreak.
The bats attacked people in the village of Urakusa, in northeastern Peru.
Jose Bustamante, an official with the Peruvian ministry of health, said that his organisation had already sent vaccines to the region. The ministry of health has also sent three brigades of health workers to the region.
Rabies causes severe inflammation of the brain. The disease is usually spread by dog bites, and can take several months to produce symptoms.
Peruvian health teams are now attempting to locate communities in the region of the rabies outbreak, in order to find people who have been attacked by bats.
Bustamente said that almost all of the 508 people who were bitten by the rabid bats had begun an anti-rabies treatment regime.
Some of the people had rejected treatment, however.
The Peruvian government hopes they can vaccinate the remaining victims within the next few days.
The country is also facing an outbreak of the bubonic plague.
Bustamante said that the immune systems of the four children who died did not respond quickly enough to the vaccine.
The outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague in Peru, in the northwest of the country, is threatening the areas of Piura, Lambayeque, and Cajamarca.
Peruvian health officials said that three people in the Ascope region had died of the disease so far, with an additional 31 recorded infections.
Officials are worried that the plague outbreak in the Libertad region of the country, which they have failed to contain, may spread elsewhere.
In Libertad, there are many wild rodents, all of which can serve as vectors to nearby rivers and streams.
Although the government is making a concerted effort to kill the rodents, eliminating all of them would be an impossible task.
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Title: Rabid bats attack Peruvians
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 15815
Date Added: 17th Aug 2010