Boy in serious condition after rabies bite

2012-06-30 15:07
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Johannesburg - A 4-year-old boy in KwaZulu-Natal remains in a serious condition after he was bitten by dog infected with rabies, said the provincial department of environmental affairs on Saturday.

"We believe he was bitten by two separate dogs," spokesperson Jeffrey Zikhali said.

The department said it believed the boy was bitten in April in the Umlazi area. He now remained in Durban's Prince Mshiyeni Memorial hospital.

"The department picked up those two dogs and they both tested positive for rabies. The boy has been tested for rabies using saliva tests, a biopsy and a spinal cord tests, but the boy remains negative... but results are for some medical reason sometimes negative."

He said the boy was on a feeding tube and they were keeping their fingers crossed as this was the fourth infection this year.

A campaign to fight rabies has seen over 200 000 dogs vaccinated against the disease.

"We have got a huge campaign in the province and we were boosted by a R16m donation from the World Health Organisation. Since the middle of May we have vaccinated about 200 000 dogs," he said.

Three people have died of rabies in the province this year.

Underberg farmer Graeme Anderson, aged 29, died earlier this month after an abrasion on his hand was licked by a rabid dog.

A 52-year-old woman from Durban was bitten by a neighbour's dog in March and died in May after exhibiting rabies symptoms. And 8-year-old boy from Bergville died in May after being bitten by their family dog the month before.

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