Santa Catarina State, Brazil health officials are reporting (computer translated) a human rabies death in 58-year-old woman from Gravatal over the weekend. This is the first human rabies case in the state since 1981. There was no information regarding a history of animal exposure.
The last cases of rabies in dogs and cats were recorded in 2006, in the municipalities of Xanxerê (one dog and one cat), Itajaí (one dog), and in 2016, in Jaborá (one dog).
Santa Catarina is considered a controlled area for animal rabies in the urban cycle.
The Office of Epidemiological Surveillance of Santa Catarina met with the Regional Health Management, the Municipal Health Department of Gravatal and Capivari de Baixo, CIDASC (Integrated Company for Agricultural Development of Santa Catarina) and UNISUL for the development of actions, as per Ministry of Health protocol.
The actions include home-to-house vaccinations of dogs and cats within a radius of five kilometers from the patient’s home as well as active search for sick and dead animals and population orientation. In addition, if the person is assaulted by a dog or any other animal, it is very important that you seek a health service even if the injury is not serious.
Officials reiterate that vaccination of all dogs and cats is the most effective form of protection against the disease.