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November 3, 2019

Father of six bitten by stray dog awaiting painful death at JPMC


November 3, 2019

A father of six children is in a critical condition as he has developed full-blown rabies after being bitten by a stray dog in Surjani Town, while another citizen died of dengue on the city on Saturday.

Muhammad Saleem, a tailor and father of six children, had just entered his home around six weeks ago when his four-year-old daughter asked him to take her to a nearby shop and get her some candies and French fries. The man was on the way to the shop along with his daughter when a stray dog started barking furiously at them and attacked his daughter.

“Saleem stopped the attacking dog with one hand and tried to push the beast away, but the dog bit him on his thumb. In the meantime, some passers-by intervened and managed to save him from the dog. He was taken initially to the Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi and then to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, but both these hospitals did not have the anti-rabies vaccine,” says Muhammad Amir, a cousin of ill-fated Saleem, who has developed full-blown rabies.

Officials at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) said on Saturday that Muhammad Saleem is now awaiting death in an isolation ward of their hospital due to Rabies Encephalitis.

He was taken to two public health facilities near his residence, but neither of them had the ARV, they said.

“Muhammad Saleem, son of Allah Ditta, 45, a resident of Surjani Town, has developed full-blown rabies after he was bitten, probably by a stray dog some 40-42 days ago. His attendants say he was taken to the Sindh Government Hospital New Karachi and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, but vaccine was not available at both the facilities. They purchased some vaccine from outside, whose only one dose was administered to him,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, the executive director of the JPMC, while talking to The News on Saturday.

Any person who is bitten by a stray dog should be immediately given immunoglobulin and four to five doses of the anti-rabies vaccine, experts say, to prevent the affected person from developing rabies encephalitis, which is a hundred percent lethal and incurable disease. “This person was probably not given any vaccine after he was bitten by the rabid dog. He got one injection of some medicine, which was not the anti-rabies vaccine. Now after 40 days, this person has developed full-blown rabies and he is going to expire as there is no cure for the rabies encephalitis,” Dr Jamali said, adding that they were taking care of the patient and trying to ease his suffering as much as possible.

Nine people have already died due to rabies encephalitis in the province this year, officials said, adding that over two hundred thousand cases of dog-bite had been reported from across Sindh, including over 90,000 in Karachi alone.

“The population of stray dogs is on the rise with each passing day, and many of them become rabid due to their behavior. Incidents of canine attacks are on the rise and now hundreds of people are bitten by stray dogs in Karachi alone,” Dr Jamali said and urged the municipal authorities to get the people of Karachi and the rest of Sindh rid of stray dogs as Pakistan was facing a severe shortage of the anti-rabies vaccine.

Dengue death

The dengue fever claimed another life in Karachi after a young married woman died due to complications of the mosquito-borne viral illness at a private hospital in the city on Saturday, officials said.

“Midhat Fahat, 28, a resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar, was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in North Nazimabad after she tested positive for dengue fever. She succumbed to complications of the mosquito-borne illness today,” an official of Dr Ziauddin Hospital, North Nazimabad campus, said.

Health officials said that with the latest death due to the dengue fever in Karachi, the death toll from the

vector-borne illness has reached 26 in Karachi this year. They added that over 9,000 people had tested positive for the disease.

They advised the people to take precautionary measures to prevent themselves and their family members from mosquitoes, use mosquito repellents and mosquito nets, while they should not let the water accumulate inside and outside their homes.