The introduction of the disease presumably occurred naturally, through the movement of wild animals from Ukraine.
Specialists of a hunting company shot a stray dog in the administrative area of Magosliget village in Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg county on November 1st, 2022. The laboratory of the National Food Chain Safety Office (Nébih) confirmed that the animal killed about half a kilometer from the Ukrainian border was infected with rabies, Nébih announced. The rabid dog was shot in the area where, in September of this year, Nébih initiated a number of epidemiological measures, including the ordering of increased surveillance, due to a rabid fox. This allowed the sick animal to be shot, effectively reducing the public health risk they said.
In the county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, the epidemiological measures already ordered in the area of the affected wildlife management units, including the closure and enhanced epidemiological surveillance, are still in effect and will remain in place as long as the epidemiological situation makes it necessary. In addition, the autumn rabies vaccination of the fox population in the area of the Ukrainian border region affected by the September and current rabies cases was supplemented with focal vaccination.
Nébih informed the competent bodies of the National Public Health Center and the European Union, as well as the World Organization for Animal Health, about the case. Rabies is one of the oldest known and most dangerous infectious diseases, which can be transmitted to humans by the bite of a rabid animal, so protection against it also serves to prevent human diseases. The Nébih laboratory identified a rabid animal in Hungary this September (for the first time since 2017). The introduction of the disease presumably occurred naturally, through the movement of wild animals from Ukraine, where the oral immunization program among the fox population was not carried out due to the war.
In the case of domestic animals, the annual vaccination of dogs against rabies is mandatory in Hungary, and the vaccination of cats is recommended. Nébih also draws the attention of dog and cat owners to the importance of regular vaccination against rabies. It is also important that strict regulations apply to the travel of dogs and cats within the European Union, as well as the importation from third countries, and law-abiding behavior is also important in this regard.