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Taiwan records 12th case of rabies in ferret-badgers

2013/07/29 12:10:13

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) Another wild Formosan ferret-badger has been found to be infected with rabies, bringing the number of confirmed rabies cases in Taiwan to 12 as of Sunday, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said Monday.

As of Sunday, a total of 33 ferret-badgers had been tested for rabies and 12 of them came up positive, the COA said in a press statement.

This was one more than the number of cases confirmed the previous day, according to the COA.

The council said all the confirmed rabies cases in Taiwan have been in Formosan ferret-badgers, a nocturnal mammal that feeds mainly on fruits, insects, small animals and worms.

No human infections have been reported so far, the council said.

Moreover, it said, all of the rabies-infected ferret-badgers were found in mountainous regions -- six in the landlocked Nantou County, two in Taitung in eastern Taiwan, and one each in remote mountainous districts in Yunlin, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Tainan.

The council urged local news media to refrain from writing headlines that claim all five special municipalities are now rabies-infected regions. Such sensationalist reporting only serves to cause panic in the local population, the COA said.

The COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said it has also tested 10 Formosan gem-faced civets, one Formosan least weasel, one ferret, two small Chinese civets and one crab-eating mongoose for the disease but the tests were all negative.

(By Yang Shu-min and Sofia Wu)
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