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May 8, 2019

Rabies claims fourth life as 11-year old boy from Sanghar dies at JPMC


Wed, May 08, 2019

KARACHI: Rabies caused the fourth death in Karachi after an 11-year-old boy from Sanghar district of Sindh died due to lethal, dog-borne disease at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) Karachi on Wednesday, officials said.

“Last night an 11-year old child brought from Sanghar died at JPMC with full blown rabies. He was not immunized and was bitten by a rabid dog 3 months back on his hand. So sad is the story of dog bite if left untreated”, said Dr. Seemin Jamali, the Executive Director of JPMC while talking to The News.

Dr. Jamali said the child, Lal Bux was taken to a faith healer in the Sanghar town after his condition deteriorated and added that he had received some sort of an injection but the father didn’t know what type of injection was administered to the ill-fated child.

“Victims of dog bite are required to get proper immunization with Anti Rabies Vaccine as well as Immunoglubolin administration immediately after they are bitten by a dog”, she said and urged people to visit JPMC’s dog bite center at their emergency for the vaccination.

Shahe informed that around 100 to 150 new and old cases of dog bite report at the dog bite center of JPMC for vaccination and added that so far, over 3500 people, mostly children have visited JPMC for vaccination after bitten by stray dogs from different areas of Karachi, interior of Sindh and different parts of Balochistan.

“Authorities should take this issue seriously now and get people rid of stray dogs. Unfortunately, in most of the cases, children become the victims of stray dogs as they cannot defend themselves against the beasts”, Dr. Jamali added.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories and dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans.

“Rabies elimination is feasible through vaccination of dogs and prevention of dog bites. Infection causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mainly in Asia and Africa. Around 40% of people bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age”, the WHO fact sheet about rabies says.

Immediate, thorough wound washing with soap and water after contact with a suspect rabid animal is crucial and can save lives. In up to 99% of cases, domestic dogs are responsible for rabies virus transmission to humans. Yet, rabies can affect both domestic and wild animals. It is spread to people through bites or scratches, usually via saliva, WHO says.

Fourth death in Karachi

It was the fourth death due to full-blown rabies in Karachi as three people have already died due to the dog-borne disease at the Indus Hospital Karachi this year, said Aftab Gohar, an official of the indus Hospital in Karachi.

“Three patients, one each from Karachi, interior of Sindh and Balochistan have so far been died at the Indus Hospital due to rabies this year”, Aftan Gohar said, adding that they were receiving 30-35 daily cases of dog bite from different areas of Karachi as well as interior of Sindh and different areas of Balochistan.

Vaccine shortage

Pakistan is facign an extreme shortage of Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) due to limited supply from India, said Dr. Seemin Jamali, adding that they have managed to get vaccine for their needs but at most of the public and private hosptials in Karachi, ARV and Immunoglobulin are not available.

“At the time when Anti Rabbies Vaccine is hard to acquire, atuhoritie should take this issue seriously and take measures to reduce the population of dtray dogs in Karachi and rest of the country”, Dr. Jamali said and added that right decisions were not taken immediately, this could emerge as a major public health concern in the days to come.