Rabies is a fatal zoonotic disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals that affects the nervous system of warm-blooded animals.
History of Rabies in Trinidad and Tobago
Vampire bat-transmitted rabies was first recognized in Trinidad by a local researcher Dr. Joseph Pawan in 1931 when he isolated the virus from the brain of an abnormally behaving bat. Over the last century, bat-transmitted rabies in Trinidad has evolved from a mysterious syndrome causing significant loss of both human and animal life to a vaccine-controllable disease of ruminants.
Anti-Rabies Unit (ARU)
The objectives of the Anti-rabies Unit include:
- To monitor and control populations of vampire bats in Trinidad
- To contain outbreaks of paralytic rabies on the island
- To reduce the incidence of paralytic rabies cases in animals and humans and;
- To monitor populations of non-vampire bat species