Agricultural experts warn of cows infected by rabies

Agriculture officials reported Thursday that they have detected four separate cases of paralytic cow rabies on a farm in Caño Negro in Alajuela Province.

The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal said that to counteract the threat it has implemented quarantine measures against the affected farm. The agency will continue to survey neighboring farms and promote the use of vaccines against rabies to protect cows, horses and dogs who can also be affected, it said.

Rabies is most commonly spread by blood sucking bats, officials report. Rabies is a viral infection that affects warm-blooded creatures, including humans by attacking the nervous system. As the disease takes hold, the afflicted will exhibit impeded coordination, difficulty walking, increased salivation and paralysis of the lower legs, making the victim unable to stand upright. The final stage is death.

People who came in contact with the infected cows are being treated with vaccines, the agency reports. Experts suggest no contact with seemingly infected animals be made and that all cases be reported to the nearest government agricultural office.

The last outbreak occurred in September in the District Rio Cuarto de Grecia. It led to the death of five animals.

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