Rabies is endemic in South Africa and most human cases are as a result of exposure to rabid dogs. There are between five and thirty lab confirmed human rabies cases per year. Post exposure prophylaxis for persons exposed to potentially rabid animals is quite widely available, including cell culture based human vaccines as well as rabies immunoglobulin ( human or equine). There is currently a shortage of human rabies immunoglobulin and equine immune will be used for the next four to six months.
An outbreak of rabies has been ongoing in Gauteng Province, northwest of Johannesburg affecting mostly jackals as well as livestock, a few domestic dogs. An extensive vaccination programme for domestic animals in the area has been carried out. The number of confirmed rabies in animals in the area has decreased over the past month.
Updated: 01 November 2016