The Council of Argriculture (COA) for Taiwan has reported that rabies virus has been detected in wildlife for the first time in 50 years. In the last year, rabies virus has been confirmed in three laboratory samples taken from Formosan ferret-badgers. Two of the animals were from Gukeng, Yunlin County and the other from Yuchi, Nantou County.
The COA has arranged for rabies vaccine to be administered free to domestic animal in the mountainous areas of Yunlin and Nantou. The three animal rabies cases will be reported by the COA to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed the recurrence of rabies virus among the Ferret-badger population of central Taiwan.
The source of the outbreak or infection is unknown or inconclusive. Intensified animal vaccination activities are being conducted in the affected areas and monitoring is ongoing.
Advice for Travellers
Taiwan is now considered a 'Low risk' destination for rabies. Travellers should avoid all contact with animals and report any bites for careful medical assessment. Rabies pre-exposure vaccine may be considered for particular risk groups based on an individual risk assessment.