Suspected rabies death in Soweto

2010-09-27 14:14

Johannesburg – A young Johannesburg girl has died, possibly after contracting rabies, Gauteng agriculture and rural development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Monday.

The child, aged below 10, from Dobsonville, Soweto, died on Saturday at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital of symptoms similar to those of rabies. She had a history of being bitten by dogs.

Khoza said it had not been confirmed yet whether she died of rabies. The case had been handed to the National Institute for Communicable diseases for investigation.

Khoza was speaking at the start of a rabies vaccination drive at the Kopanong community centre in Dobsonville, where people could bring their animals to be vaccinated for free at a mobile SPCA clinic. The campaign would be rolled out across Soweto until October 22. It was prompted by a rabies outbreak in Southern and Western Johannesburg.

Rabies is a viral infection of the nervous system that affects all mammals, and is fatal once symptoms appear.