FEAR THAT RABIES HAS CROSSED INTO PNG FROM WEST PAPUA

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 8, 2001 - Officials fear that rabies may have spread into Papua New Guinea from neighboring West Papua after the sudden deaths of hundreds of dogs close to the border.

PNG government veterinarian Dr. Ilagi Puana said inspectors near the border reported dogs salivating, vomiting and having eye discharges and nervous problems.

Four or five days later, he said, the dogs died.

Dr. Puana said the symptoms indicate rabies, a viral disease that can kill humans, if bitten by a rabid animal.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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