KARACHI: A 60-year-old man recently admitted to The Indus Hospital (TIH) with rabies died on Thursday.

Abdul Hameed, a resident of Korangi, was bitten on the leg by a dog over a month ago and developed rabies’ symptoms three days ago.

This is the second death from rabies within a week.

Both patients — the other died at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) — were residents of Karachi.

“The patient [arrived] at the hospital with full-blown rabies, suffering from hydrophobia and aerophobia,” said Aftab Gohar, manager of Rabies Prevention and Training Centre at TIH.

He didn’t go to any hospital and used home remedies to treat the wound, he added.

Last month, four dog-bite victims, two hailing from Karachi, one from Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab and the other from Naushahro Feroze, died of rabies, two each at TIH and JPMC.

The victims included a six-year-old child from the Garden area and an 11-year-old child from Baldia.

“This week, we have one death from rabies. Forty-five-year-old Junaid was a resident of Orangi Town where he was bitten by a stray dog three months ago. We were told that the patient didn’t seek medical treatment for the injury,” said JPMC executive director Dr Seemin Jamali.

She regretted that dog-bite victims in the city were dying of rabies despite the fact that proper treatment for the deadly viral infection was available free of cost in Karachi.

“At times, patients develop rabies because they were not administered the life-saving rabies immunoglobulin along with the proper doses of anti-rabies vaccine,” she said, emphasising the need for creating awareness of what people need to do in case of a dog-bite.

Last year, at least 15 deaths were reported from rabies — six patients died at TIH and nine at the JPMC.

This year, the JPMC has so far seven and TIH five cases of rabies.

A total of 15,850 cases of dog bite were reported at both these hospitals last year.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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