Man dies of rabies in Hua Hin

Hua Hin, recently. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
Hua Hin, recently. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Part of the tourist district of Hua Hin has been declared a red rabies zone after an elderly man was found to have died from the viral disease after being infected by a cat bite.

Dr Surin Suebsueng, health chief of Prachuap Khiri Khan, said the 61-year-old man was bitten by a cat two months ago and had not sought vaccination afterwards. He died at Hua Hin Hospital on Wednesday night.

Samples of the dead man's hair, saliva, faeces and spinal fluid were tested and results were known on Thursday evening. He had been infected with rabies

Health officials in Hua Hin were mobilised to find people who had contact with the cat, which had since died, in the past two months, so they could be vaccinated.

An epidemic zone is declared when a disease is transmitted from animal to human and causes death, in this case rabies.

The last death from rabies in Hua Hin was 14 years ago, in 2004, Dr Surin said. People who been bitten or even scratched and licked by a mammal must be vaccinated, without waiting for it to be proven a carrier, he said. 

"Do not assume you are not infected because rabies can remain in a human body for six months to a year. All infected patients die. There is no cure," Dr Surin said.

The 61-year-old man was identified as Prasit Boonkerd, of Ban Nong Khon village in Hua Hin district.

In January a cat bit his hand and he did not get a vaccination. He was recently admitted to hospital with a suspected rabies infection, having difficulty swallowing. The cat died shortly after biting him.

Earlier on Friday, the Department of Livestock Development announced that rabies epidemic zone declarations remain in force in areas of 24 provinces.

They are Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Mukdahan, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Nonthaburi, Phatthalung, Phetchabun, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Rayong, Samut Prakan, Satun, Si Sa Ket, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Surin, Trang, and Ubon Ratchathani.

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  • carrier: when a human or animal has a disease -
  • cure: to make someone with an illness healthy again - รักษา
  • epidemic: a large number of cases of a particular disease happening at the same time in a particular community - โรคระบาด
  • faeces: solid waste from your body - อุจจาระ
  • lick: to move your tongue across something, especially in order to eat it, clean it, or make it wet - เลีย
  • mammal: any animal of which the female gives birth to babies, not eggs, and feeds them on milk from her own body - สัตว์เลี้ยงลูกด้วยนม
  • rabies (n): a disease of dogs and other animals that causes madness and death. Infected animals can pass the disease to humans by biting them. -
  • saliva: the liquid produced by glands in your mouth - น้ำลาย
  • scratch: to rub your skin with your nails; to make marks on the surface of something - เกา, ขัด, ขูดออก
  • spinal (adj): connected with the spine (= the long bone in the back) - เกี่ยวกับกระดูกสันหลัง
  • swallow: to make food or drink go from your mouth down through your throat and into your stomach - กลืน
  • transmitted (verb): sent, spread from one person or animal to another - ส่ง, ถ่าย
  • vaccination (noun): giving someone a vaccine, usually by injection to prevent them from getting a disease - การฉีดวัคซีน
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