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September 22, 2017

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OIE leaves date of rabies outbreak in Taiwan unchanged at May 23, '12

TAIPEI--The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) will continue to list the date a recent rabies outbreak emerged in Taiwan as May 23, 2012, despite being notified that the disease has actually been present in the country since 2010.

The Council of Agriculture's Animal Health Research Institute notified the animal health body on Friday that tests done on five wild Formosan ferret-badger carcasses showed the rabies virus existing in Taiwan as early as July 2010, and suggested that the OIE change the start date of the rabies outbreak in Taiwan to July 17, 2010.

The OIE responded, however, that no change was needed because the findings were obtained through retroactive monitoring practices and simply had to be described in the case file, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center said in a statement Saturday.

In mid-July this year, Taiwan notified the OIE that it had detected the rabies virus for the first time in more than five decades. The finding returned Taiwan to the ranks of rabies-afflicted countries after being declared rabies-free since 1961.

As of Sept. 6, a total of 524 wild carnivores had been tested for rabies. A total of 123 animals, all of them wild Formosan ferret-badgers, were confirmed to be infected with the rabies virus, according to the center's statement.

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