Saving Koalas from STD: Vaccination Campaign

Australia has launched a nationwide vaccination campaign for koalas aimed at preventing disease caused by sexually transmitted chlamydia infection. The koalas, whose antibiotics have become ineffective due to microbes in their stomachs, have already suffered from blindness, sterility, and death caused by the disease. The vaccination program began with capturing and vaccinating about 50 koalas in the northern region of New South Wales. The vaccinated koalas will be released into the wild after a 24-hour observation period. Chlamydia infection rates in the region have soared from 10% in 2008 to 80% in recent years. The government has allocated $35 million over four years to protect vulnerable species such as koalas. Koalas have been listed as endangered by the Australian government in the states of NSW and Queensland and the Capital Territory, and will be at risk of extinction in less than 30 years due to diseases caught by exposure to farm animal feces, changes in their habitats, and car accidents. The nationwide vaccination campaign for koalas is a vital measure to prevent losing this species forever.



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