RABIES CLOSE TO HOME – NONG KHAI CLAIMS A CHILD
The recent threat of the spreading Rabies Virus has claimed the life of a teen girl in Nong Khai
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A 15 year old girl from Nong Khai province has become the nation’s eighth rabies casualty this year after contracting the disease from a puppy scratch late last year and not seeking medical attention.
Family members of the young girl explained that in December 2017 she was scratched on the neck after adopting a two month old puppy. After refusing to see a doctor, the girl began to manifest symptoms of fever and fatigue on April 19 of this year. Admitted to hospital, the girl’s symptoms progressed to irritation and salivation. She passed away on April 20 and funeral proceedings began on April 21.
Nong Khai Veterinarian Dr. Somchaichote Piyawachvela has disclosed that Nong Khai Hospital kept samples of the girls’ hair follicles and spinal fluid for analysis by the Department of Medical Science, which confirmed that the patient had died of a rabies infection, the country’s eighth this year. All of the girl’s nearby relatives and friends have been asked to receive rabies vaccinations as a precaution.
Nong Khai Livestock authorities are now urgently vaccinating local pets and stray animals. Up to 400 dogs and 150 cats live in the area surrounding the girl’s home but most have been vaccinated.
The loss of life comes as many provinces continue to administer rabies vaccines to animals. Chiang Rai’s Livestock Office has coordinated with Siriwiangchai Sub-District Municipal authorities to vaccinate and check local animals for the disease, with no discoveries made so far.
Hospitals in Buriram province have rehearsed their response to rabies emergencies as part of a campaign to ensure safety against rabies threat.
The Government are taking a positive view with Rabies and we are sure they will soon impose actions to protect Thailand.
At Mahasarakam’s provincial hall, Special Auditor of the Prime Minister’s Office, Sak Somboontoh convened a meeting on anti-rabies efforts, acknowledging a survey that has found that of the nation’s 120,504 dogs and cats, 69,312 have been vaccinated with the rest likely to have been given the shot by the end of May. He urged shelters to take in more stray animals to aid in controlling the situation.
CARING FOR YOUR PETS
Ok, you are a loving responsible pet owner, well they are not ‘Pets’ they are part of your family, one level under children. We love our pets, I do. My dog, Bertie, a grey Shihtzu gained his first travel Passport in 2011 but not before he had to have a Rabies jab and a follow up blood test some 2 weeks later, then another 2 weeks before DEFRA issued the all clear and a Passport. So here he is ok, you can also make your pets safe too by a swift cheap jab in here THAILAND from around 300 Baht at the vet. This not only protects your furry kid but also your family. HOWEVER, this is all well and good BUT, what about the Soi Dogs ? HOW will this be controlled ? WHAT about the dogs at the local WAT (Temple) ? As we all know, Soi dogs squabble every night and move on to another village, town or city, potentially taking the virus with them.
THAILAND has managed to stay in the AMBER regarding Rabies up until recent times however you will see around the internet that there have been cases in the south (from Malaysia) and from the North (Laos).
UDON THANI LIVE FACTS
What is Rabies ?
Rabies is a deadly virus that spreads to people through the saliva of infected animals. A dog bite or a scratch exposed to licking by animals causes the virus to enter the nervous system, resulting in brain damage or even death. The virus is mostly transmitted through a bite.
What Animals can transmit Rabies ?
The animals which are most likely to transmit the Rabies virus to humans are:
The wild animals include:
What are the signs and symptoms of Rabies?
Initially Rabies does not cause any signs and symptoms, till late in the disease, mostly few days before death. The signs and symptoms include:
Difficulty in swallowing
Fear of water
Which factors increase the risk of developing Rabies?
Living or travelling in a country where Rabies is more common, especially Southeast Asia and Africa
Working in a lab or a clinic with the Rabies Virus
Exploring caves where bats live or camping without any precautions, or other activities that may put you in contact with wild animals that are likely to have Rabies
Severe wounds to the neck or the head, which may help the Rabies virus to travel to the brain at a faster rate
Is Rabies curable?
There is no specific effective treatment for the Rabies infection. Once a person is infected with the Rabies virus, then it is difficult to cure. If medical help is taken within ten days, then it can be effective.
Which consultant should be consulted for Rabies?
As Rabies is caused by a virus, one should consult a Virologist.
Which Preventive measures can reduce the risk of developing Rabies?
Vaccination to your pets: All the pet animals- dogs, cats should be vaccinated against Rabies.
Keep the pets confined: Pets should be trained and supervised when outside, as this may restrict the pets from coming into contact with any animal having the Rabies infection.
Do not approach wild animals: People should stay away from any animal that is not scared, as animals with the Rabies infection may seem unafraid of people.
Vaccination: If travelling, all the necessary vaccinations are highly recommended.
True or false?
I won’t go near dogs on my trip and so I won’t get bitten.
False – It is a good idea not to go near dogs or animals in countries where rabies is present. However, in most circumstances exposure to rabies is a result of an unprovoked attack.
So, what should I do if I get bitten by an animal?
This advice is the same even if you have had rabies vaccines before you travel.
If you are in a country with rabies and are bitten, scratched, licked on open skin (a cut or open eczema) or an animal spits in your face you are at risk of rabies and should seek medical advice immediately (preferably within 24 hours).
Never assume in a rabies risk country that the contact animal isn’t infected.
Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and running tap water for at least 15 minutes.
Do not scrub the wound.
Apply disinfectant – neat alcohol or iodine solution
If an animal spits in your face immediately splash your face with lots of water to stop the saliva getting into your eyes, mouth or nose.
Seek medical help without delay – never waste time, whether or not you have received any rabies vaccine before you have travelled.
Avoid getting bites or scratches stitched, this can damage the skin and increase the risk of the virus reaching your nerves.
True or false?
If I get bitten I will just go to hospital ?
True – if you get bitten you should go straight to hospital. However, in many countries rabies treatment and vaccines are in short supply. In some countries there have even been counterfeit rabies vaccines administered.
What post exposure rabies treatment should I have?
It’s important that you know what post exposure treatment you should expect to receive. Studies have shown that local understanding and knowledge of rabies post exposure treatment can be sketchy and very limited. Travellers should not automatically accept the word or advice of local non-medical trained staff about what to do after possible rabies exposure.
If you have had pre-exposure rabies vaccinations, it is a good idea to take a copy of this vaccination history with you, so that you can show this to the hospital or clinic that you are attending for your post exposure treatment. Vaccine brands are interchangeable and don’t need to be the same as the ones you have already had.