LIMA – Twelve residents of an indigenous community in the Amazon jungle have died of rabies after being bitten by bats, Peruvian Deputy Health Minister Percy Minaya said Wednesday.
He told state television that Health Minister Anibal Velasquez was urging the Cabinet to approve the declaration of a health emergency to allow the release of additional funds for Datem del Marañon province in the region of Loreto.
The official said 7,500 doses of anti-rabies vaccine will be provided for residents of the Yancuntich community and surrounding areas.
While the Health Ministry received reports in October about possible rabies-related deaths in Yancuntich, confirmation came only after last month’s visit to the area by experts from the national and regional governments, Minaya said.
The deputy minister dismissed the possibility that Loreto city or neighboring areas could see cases of rabies, as “these animals (bats) inhabit remote areas.”