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Rabies is endemic in Sudan since 1904 (Ali, 1993) and has frequently been encountered in dogs and less occasionally in other domestic animal species (El Ghali et al., 1998). Although all domestic animals are susceptible to rabies, infection of camels was rarely observed. However, a recent outbreak of rabies in camels in Northern Kordofan State was reported by El Mardi and Ali (2001). The occurrence of rabies in camels has never been reported in Kassala State.

This report records a case of rabies in a camel in Kassala State, eastern Sudan.

            On 6th May 2004 a report from Kassala Veterinary Hospital (KVH) on a rabies suspect male camel (4-year-old) that had bitten two men was received. The incidence took place at Raiba area, about 7 kilometers west of Kassala town. Immediately, a visit was paid to the area to collect all necessary data. Later on, it was found that a rabies suspect dog had bitten the camel. The clinical signs of the camel included rubbing, incoordination (Staggering gait), slight excessive salivation, recumbency, excitement, abnormal movement of the eye, laryngeal and pharyngeal paralysis and self biting of forelimbs. On the same day the camel was killed by the police.

            The brain of the camel was carefully collected into frozen ice, transported to the Central Veterinary Research Laboratories in Khartoum and examined for rabies using the fluorescent antibody technique (Dean and Abelseth, 1973). The result revealed that the camel was rabid.

           

 

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The two human victims of this case received anti-rabies post-exposure hyper-immune sera immediately. The veterinary authorities had immediately implemented the appropriate control measures that included emergency vaccination of dogs in the area, incineration of all animal carcasses and raising of public awareness through mass media and direct contact.

            Although the clinical signs of rabies are more or less similar in different animal species, its signs in camels are never cited in text books. Nevertheless, Clinical signs of camel rabies have been reported by Afzal et al. (1993). Concerning the prevalence rate of rabies in the Sudan, it was noticed that the percentage of positive cases among camels was quite low (Ali, 1993). This observation may be attributed to the far away presence of camels from residential areas and thus away from stray dogs, which are the main sources of the disease, as camels in Sudan are owned mainly by nomadic tribes. These communities usually cure their animals by traditional medicine and seldom care to report animal diseases to the veterinary authorities (El Mardi and Ali, 2001). Moreover, the low number of reported cases of camel rabies in Sudan could also be attributed to the poor reporting system of animal diseases and follow up in the country.

 
 
   
 
 

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