Asian experts conclude meeting on rabies

October 5, 2012

(AP)—Rabies experts from 12 Asian countries on Friday concluded their annual meeting to exchange views and find practical solutions to the disease, which is still prevalent in the region.

During the five-day meeting that ended Friday, experts from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and host Indonesia described their countries' situations and addressed specific problems encountered in their .

Rita Kusriastuti, a senior official at Indonesia's , said the discussion highlighted the need for united efforts, especially among paramedics and veterinarians.

Rabies kills some 70,000 people annually. In Indonesia, it is endemic in 24 of the country's 33 provinces, with the highest number of human cases on Bali island and East Nusatenggara.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals says rabies cases in Bali have declined since 2010, when it led a project to vaccinate more than 200,000 dogs there in six months.

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