Dog Bites !… Rabies…. Be Carefull …..

April 13, 2007 at 4:32 am | Posted in Friends, General, Grievances, Interest, Medical | 1 Comment

Once bitten TAKE NO CHANCES
Pushpa Narayan & Prathima Nandakumar | TNN

Bangalore: When Varadaraju, 23, reacted violently when he was offered a drink of water at his Maruthinagar, his family did not realise that he was infected with the rabies virus. Today, lodged in the isolation ward at the Epidemics Diseases Hospital (Isolation Hospital) on Old Madras Road, he has been put on sedatives and is counting his days.
Nearly 20 days ago, Varadaraju was bitten by a stray dog near his house. He didn’t know that the small cut on his lower lip could prove fatal. The virus silently spread and affected his central nervous system (CNS).
He showed symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, headache, loss of appetite in the early stages. On Tuesday, his family members discovered that he was excited, and sensitive to bright light and touch. He complained of thirst, but turned aggressive when offered with water.
Anxious relatives rushed him to the hospital at 11 am on Wednesday. When doctors learnt that the very sight of water caused painful spasms, they knew this was a classical sign of rabies — hydrophobia.
His brother told The Times of India, “I read about the death of a six-year-old boy in this hospital in the papers this morning. But I never thought my brother will have to meet the same fate.’’
Varadaraju is not aware of his condition yet. In his dimly lit room, he said: “I have difficulty in breathing and swallowing. I don’t want water. I don’t know what happened. Maybe this is because of the dog bite. They give me medicines that make me sleep.’’
Health director Dr M B Rudrappa says the number of dog bite deaths have increased. “The problem is that many are either not aware that rabies is fatal. They ignore it either because they think vaccination against rabies can be painful or it’s expensive.’’
Hospital medical records show that at least six people have succumbed to the virus in the past four months. In 2006, there were 39 deaths; in 2005, there were 27 deaths; and, in 2004, there were 21 deaths.
“We have people walking in with dog bites almost every day. We counsel them and even force them to take the vaccine. It is available free of cost for those living below the poverty line,’’ says a duty doctor. Unlike the earlier vaccine — Nerve Tissue Vaccine — the recent vaccines are more patient-friendly.
It can be taken in five doses (first, third, seventh, fourteenth and twenty-eighth day) and even intra-dermally, says Dr B J Mahendra, professor and head of community medicine at Mandya Institute of Medical Sciences. “Sadly, both children and adults skip vaccination. There were several child rabies deaths as well. Some were even pregnant women’’ he said.

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  1. Is it possible to acquire a rabies when bitten by a pet dog.


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