KZN boy may have died from rabies

2012-05-18 22:10

Johannesburg - The possibility is being investigated that a KwaZulu-Natal boy died from rabies after his family dog bit him last month, an official said on Friday.

Provincial agriculture department spokesperson Jeffrey Zikhali said senior provincial animal health technicians were on their way to examine whether the boy had contracted rabies.

The boy died at Emmaus Hospital on Thursday night. The minor and his father were bitten by their dog "which had run mad on Easter Friday" (April 6), the mother told officials.

Zikhali said the dog was vaccinated on April 4, during the area's vaccination programme. The boy initially showed no worrying symptoms.

"His mother said he started vomiting on Thursday and was rushed to Emmaus Hospital."

There had apparently been an outbreak of rabies this year in the Winterton/Bergville region. Zikhali said seven cases of rabies were recorded in Bergville in January.

"We had nine cases in February, 10 cases in March and the figures dropped in April to three cases. If confirmed, this may be the only case for May," said Zikhali.

Beeld reported on Friday that a farmer from Underberg, Graeme Anderson, 29, was fighting for his life after coming into contact with a rabid dog seven weeks ago.

During a campaign which started in January, a total of 4 985 dogs and 767 cats were vaccinated.

  • Faizie - 2012-05-19 06:03

    The scary thing is that people in the Loskop area near Winterton are unaware of this outbreak

  • Liz - 2012-05-19 08:07

    Sadly the animal health work of the government seems to be a very low priority and is inadequately resourced. KZN needs on going awareness programmes around rabies throughout the province. The rural areas in particular are very vulnerable as dogs are not sterilised or controlled and wander all over the place.

  • stblackburn - 2012-05-19 10:54

    Even more scary is that the State Vet here is way under-staffed and underfunded and cannot carry out their mandate - we have had to to and collect Rabies vaccine from the State Vet ourselves to vaccinate our dogs/cate and the dogs/cate of all of the staff living on the farm here - like 15 in all....

  • Rob - 2012-05-19 17:14

    'May have died from Rabies? I thought the 'symptoms' would have been obvious when the youngster was admitted to Hospital, especially coupled with fact that he had been bitten by a dog that had 'run mad'. I am not a Doctor but don't need to be to diagnose this one...

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