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December 23, 2019

Rabies patient from Tando Allahyar battles for life at Jinnah Hospital


December 23, 2019

A man from Tando Allahyar is battling for life at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) after he was diagnosed with rabies encephalitis, a disease caused by bites of rabid dogs and other animals from which there is no chance of survival if the affected person was not vaccinated on time.

Health officials said Imam Bux, a 35-year-old man from Tando Allahyar town of Sindh, was brought to JPMC with suspected rabies encephalitis, which was later confirmed.

“The patient has been admitted to the medical intensive care unit but he is unlikely to survive due to 100 per cent mortality in the case of rabies encephalitis,” said Dr Seemin Jamali, the JPMC executive director, as she spoke to The News on Sunday.

As many as 23 people have so far died in Sindh this year due to rabies. A six-year-old boy, Hasnain, also recently died due to other complications after he was mauled by a pack of six stray dogs in the Larkana.

The boy died of necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as flesh-eating disease, which is a rare and serious bacterial infection that can progress rapidly. It can occur if a bacterial infection enters a break in the skin as a result of trauma or surgery.

After the incident of dogs attacking Hasnain was reported, it provoked a public outcry, following which the Sindh chief minister constitute a 10-member special medical board to examine the boy at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), Karachi.

Though the medical team tried its best to save the boy, he succumbed to the flesh-eating disease on December 11. Although his death was not caused by rabies, stray dogs were responsible for it.

The Sindh High Court's Sukkur Bench has already ordered the Sindh government and municipal authorities in the province to start culling stray dogs as per their traditional methods after the media highlighted miseries of hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women and children, who became victims of dog-bite in the province.

Dr Seemin, who runs the country's largest dog-bite treatment and vaccination centre in the country at the JPMC, said Bux was brought to the health facility with hydrophobia and delirium and a history of dog-bite. She added that the patient was probably not vaccinated against rabies after he was bitten by a dog.

Officials say as many as over 250,000 people, mostly women and children, have been bitten by stray dogs in Sindh including Karachi this year.

As the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government has barred the municipal authorities from culling stray dogs, no other effective measures are being taken against the animals due to which the incidents of dog-bite are being frequently reported.

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