THE disaster management centre in Mopani district has urged communities in Bolobedu south and surrounding areas to take part in a free rabies vaccination campaign.
The campaign, which started on Tuesday, is part of ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of rabies.
Municipal spokesperson Tumelo Malaka urged people to bring their cats and dogs for a rabies vaccination.
The campaign has already taken place in 14 villages around Bolobedu south. Some of the villages covered include Morutji, Mothomeng, Sethong, Madumane, Botludi and Mohlakone.
It will continue to other villages around the Greater Tzaneen municipality until Friday August 21.
However, in some areas, including Jopie, Nyakelane, Runneymade and Mavele, veterinary surgeons will conduct house-to-house visits to vaccinate dogs and cats that owners are unable to bring to the vaccination points.
The first phase of the campaign was conducted in other parts of the district four months ago.
"The vaccination campaign is a preventative measure aimed at preventing a major rabies outbreak and is undertaken to protect the community," Malaka said.
l Rabies i s a viral disease which affects dogs and wild animals.
l The disease is readily spread to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.
lThe virus is secreted through the saliva of the animal.
l Animals, including humans, infected with the virus typically start to show strange behaviour and usually become highly aggressive as the disease travels to the brain.
l If not treated early, the disease is deadly.