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As Taiwan CDC confirms 2 human cases of rabid animal bite in Taiwan, public urged to heighten vigilance, avoid contact with wild animals, and seek immediate medical attention when bitten or scratched( 2018-02-22 )


As Taiwan CDC confirms 2 human cases of rabid animal bite in Taiwan, public urged to heighten vigilance, avoid contact with wild animals, and seek immediate medical attention when bitten or scratched

On February 21, 2018, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced this year’s first 2 human cases of ferret badger bite in Taiwan. Additionally, the ferret badger specimens have been tested positive for rabies by the Animal Health Research Institute of the Council of Agriculture. The cases respectively reside in Guanmiao District, Tainan City and Guangfu Township, Hualien County and they were respectively bitten by the intruding ferret badger on February 17 and 18. As of now, both cases have sought medical attention and are not experiencing any symptoms. The local health authority will assist the cases in completing the full course of rabies vaccination and follow up on them.  


In Taiwan, several human cases of ferret badger bite are reported every year. Thus far this year, 2 human cases of ferret badger bite have been reported. During the same period in 2017, no human cases of ferret badger bite were reported. In 2017, a total of 18 human cases of ferret badger bite were reported, including 13 cases that were tested positive for rabies, 1 that was tested negative for rabies and 4 cases that were not tested. Among the cases, 3 cases were respectively reported in Hualien County and Nantou County, 2 cases were respectively reported in Tainan City, Chiayi County and Taitung County, and 1 case was reported in Pingtung County. Since 2002, a cumulative total of 3 human cases of rabies have been confirmed in Taiwan and all of them are imported cases, including 1 case from China in 2002, 1 case from China in 2012, and 1 case from the Philippines in 2013. All 3 cases died. 


Rabies is an acute viral encephalomyelitis caused by the rabies virus. The incubation period is 1 to 3 months. The early symptoms include fever, sore throat, chills, loss of appetite, vomiting, breathing difficulty, coughing, headache, and sensory changes at the bite site. The disease then progresses to excitability, fear, numbness, swallowing difficulty, throat spasms, hydrophobia, delirium and convulsion; death is often due to respiratory paralysis. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is almost 100% fatal in humans if left untreated. Humans are infected through the bite of rabid animals. When bitten or scratched by animals, seeking timely attention and receiving the post-exposure rabies vaccination can lower the risk of developing the disease.


Taiwan CDC once again reminds the public to not touch, hunt, capture, feed and keep wild animals, including bats, as well as not abandon their pets and ensure their pets are properly vaccinated in a timely manner. When bitten or scratched by animals, please remember to take the following steps: 1. Wash: Immediately wash the wound with soap and an ample amount of clean water for 15 minutes and then disinfect the wound with iodine or 70% alcohol; and 2. Seek: Seek prompt medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment at healthcare facilities/public health centers that offer post-exposure rabies vaccination to reduce the risk of infection. In addition, when deemed necessary by the doctor, please remember to complete the full course of post-exposure rabies vaccination that consists of five doses of the vaccine given on days 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 to reduce the risk of developing the disease. For more information on rabies prevention, please visit the Taiwan CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Care Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).



  • Last modified at 2018-02-22
  • Data from Division of Planning and Coordination