KARACHI: A 40-year-old man brought to the Indus Hospital (IH) on Friday from Umerkot district with serious facial injuries inflicted by a dog was diagnosed with rabies.

It’s the second rabies case within three days at the IH, raising the total number of rabies cases reported this year in the city to seven.

Three rabies cases have been reported at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre this year.

“The patient presented with clear signs of rabies, including hydrophobia (fear of water) and aerophobia (fear of drafts of air, gases or airborne matter) and we have admitted him for palliative care,” said Aftab Gohar, manager of the Rabies Prevention Centre at the IH, adding that it’s the fourth rabies case at the hospital this year.

Quoting the family, he said the patient got injured over two weeks ago but the family didn’t seek treatment at any health facility.

“They also shared that the patient developed fever and complained of difficulty in eating and swallowing three days ago.”

Earlier, a nine-year-old boy, also attacked on the face by a dog, was brought from Larkana district to the IH. He was diagnosed with rabies and died the same day at the health facility.

According to hospital sources, the boy apparently died due to non-administration of human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) at Larkana’s civil hospital where he received multiple doses of anti-rabies vaccine.

A life-saving medication, HRIG is a must for all serious dog-bite injuries under the WHO protocol.

A vaccine-preventable disease, rabies has emerged as a major health challenge in Sindh. Last year, the media reported 24 deaths from the viral disease, which has no treatment once its clinical symptoms appear.

Dogs are the main source of human rabies and experts suggest ‘one-health’ approach to eliminate the disease. This includes mass dog vaccination and sterilisation to contain rabies in animals and control their population and establishing a proper solid waste management system to discourage dog breeding.

Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2020

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