Distribution of Animal Rabies in Zambia and its Potential Danger to the Human Population
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The incidence and distribution of animal rabies in Zambia during the period 1914-1975 has been outlined. At present rabies is present in all provinces of Zambia and most prevalent in the Central, Southern, Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces. The dog is the main carrier of the infection and is responsible for 82.7% of all positive cases. Rabies is widespread all over the world except Australia, New Zealand and a few isolated islands and constitutes a danger both to animals and man. It is believed that rabies in Southern and Central Africa had been existing in these territories a long time before the advent of Europeans and several reports of early travellers and hunters indicate the presence of this disease in 18th and 19th century. Edmonds (1922) considered that there was little doubt that the disease was introduced into Southern Rhodesia from some place north of the Zambezi river, as at that time there was a considerable amount of traffic between Southern and North Western Rhodesia and that travellers had reported that the disease was widespread in the latter territory. !t was also reported that Lewanika, Chief of the Barotse, had, before his departure for England to attend the coronation of King Edward VII, given instructions for the destruction of all the dogs belonging to his people because of the presence of rabies in his country. I.t is difficult to trace the early history of rabies in Zambia but the study of departmental records (Zambia 1914-1972) revealed that in 1914 the disease was constantly making its appearance in the farming districts. Before the end of the second decade the disease was recognised around the farming centres and in the townships of Livingstone, Kafue, Lusaka, Kabwe and Chipata. The disease was of a sporadic nature and was confined chiefly to native owned dogs.
CitationGaspar, P. (1976). Distribution of Animal Rabies in Zambia and its Potential Danger to the Human Population. Medical Journal of Zambia. 10, (6)
SponsorshipOffice of Global AIDS/US Department of State.
University of Zambia, Medical Library
The incidence and distribution of animal rabies in Zambia during the period 1914-1975
- Ministry of Health