The animal health authorities of Taiwan have reported a case of rabies virus infection in a 6-week-old puppy. The dog belonged to a resident of Haiduan in Taitung and was bitten by a ferret-badger on 14 Aug 2013. The dog was sent to the Taitung Animal Disease Control Centre for quarantine and observation but developed symptoms of rabies on 6 Sep 2013. The dog was subsequently euthanised, specimens were obtained and rabies virus infection was laboratory confirmed.
This is the first report of canine rabies since the rabies outbreak was first identified in the ferret-badger population of Taiwan in July 2013. It is the first report of canine rabies in Taiwan in 50 years.
Advice for Travellers
Travellers should be aware that Taiwan is no longer considered a 'no risk' country for rabies but now a 'low risk'. Animal contact should be avoided and any bites sustained, should be reported for medical assessment. Pre-exposure rabies vaccine may be considered for particular risk groups based on an individual risk assessment.