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7-year-old dies from rabies one month after pet dog bite in northern Vietnam

7-year-old dies from rabies one month after pet dog bite in northern Vietnam

Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 17:48 GMT+7
7-year-old dies from rabies one month after pet dog bite in northern Vietnam
A file photo of a free-ranging dog chasing a motorist in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

A seven-year-old boy from Tuyen Quang Province in northern Vietnam has succumbed to rabies after he was bitten by his family’s pet dog one month ago but did not get rabies vaccination, a local hospital where he was under treatment said on Monday.

The boy, residing in Ham Yen District, was sent to the Tuyen Quang Province General Hospital on Saturday last week with symptoms including tiredness, vomiting blood, pale skin, wide eyes, agitation, and frothing at the mouth.

He also became fearful of water, wind, and light. The boy was then diagnosed with rabies.

His health deteriorated rapidly in the afternoon the same day and was at an increased risk of mortality.

After consulting with doctors about his severe condition, his family asked for the hospital’s permission to take him home, where he passed away on Saturday afternoon, a local official told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday morning.

In related news, the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi confirmed that a 72-year-old woman hailing from the northern province of Hoa Binh was recently transferred to this hospital when she was on a ventilator.

The old lady was diagnosed with rabies, tetanus, and septic shock.

Her relatives said that she was bitten on the leg in early April by a three-month-old puppy, which was not vaccinated against rabies and was beaten to death after the bite.

Meanwhile, the lady disinfected the bleeding wound with alcohol and did not visit any medical facility for receiving rabies vaccination.

About four days ago, she began developing several symptoms including headache, vomiting, limb stiffness, and having a fear of water and wind.

The hospital collected her saliva and cerebrospinal fluid samples for a PCR test, with the result showing she tested positive for the rabies virus.

After being briefed on her incurable condition, her family brought her home for further care.

Rabies is an acute infectious disease caused by the rabies virus. Rabid animal bites, scratches, and licks account for the majority of human rabies cases, according to Tran Quang Dai, a doctor from the vaccination department under the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

The number of rabies cases normally soars in summer from May to August.

Some clinical symptoms of rabies include a fear of water and wind, seizures, paralysis, and possible fatality.

Rabies can be prevented through vaccination.

Data from the Ministry of Health showed that Vietnam has logged 44 human deaths from rabies across 23 provinces and cities since the beginning of 2024, marking a 30-percent increase against the year-ago figure.

More than 96,560 people sought medical attention after being bitten or scratched by dogs and cats with confirmed or probable rabies.

In the year to date, 146 rabies outbreaks were detected in 34 provinces and cities, resulting in 395 sick dogs and cats destroyed, according to statistics from the Animal Health Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The surging number of rabies cases was attributed to a low animal rabies vaccination rate of only 48.35 percent, while there are more than 5.7 million cats and dogs nationwide.

Some locales still have a lax attitude to dog management, adding that most of the provinces and cities nationwide have not set up task forces in charge of catching free-ranging, suspected rabid dogs.

Besides, there is a considerable number of dog owners who fail to use muzzles on their pets and let them run freely on the street, resulting in many dog bites and attacks.

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Hong Ngan - Duong Lieu - Chi Tue / Tuoi Tre News


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