A 37-year-old man from Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam recently did not survive after getting bitten by a strange dog over three months ago, notwithstanding receiving hospital attention for symptoms of rabies.
Nguyen Gia Phong, chairman of Hoa Vinh Ward in Dong Hoa Town, Phu Yen, where 37-year-old N.T.K. lived, confirmed his death, allegedly due to rabies, on Wednesday.
According to a report from the Dong Hoa Medical Center, K. sustained a dog bite on his hand from an unidentified dog over three months ago.
At the time, he perceived the injury as a mere scratch from the animal's collar and did not seek vaccination against rabies.
On January 4, K. showed symptoms of difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and vomiting before developing a fear of water and tiredness four days later.
His family took him to Phu Yen General Hospital at 0:00 on Tuesday before transferring the man to Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases in neighboring Khanh Hoa Province.
The patient could not make it by 2:00 am on Wednesday.
All individuals in close contact with K. were then vaccinated against rabies.
Nguyen Dong, director of the Khanh Hoa Hospital for Tropical Diseases, stated that K. was brought to the hospital too late, as the rabies had already progressed to a stage beyond treatment.
“Dying from rabies is often a result of failure to seek timely vaccination after a dog bite,” Dong explained.
“People tend to delay until the onset of a rabies attack, but by then, it’s too late as the virus has attacked the brain.
“There’s no cure once the disease manifests itself.”
Huynh Le Xuan Bich, deputy director of the Department of Health of Phu Yen Province, emphasized that immediate action is crucial in case of a dog bite.
Bich advised cleaning the wound with water and soap, seeking prompt examination, consultation, and receiving rabies vaccinations and/or anti-rabies serum to avoid unnecessary risks.