Songkhla rabies fatality puts toll at 17

Songkhla rabies fatality puts toll at 17

A man in Songkhla bitten by one of his 80 'pet dogs' is the 17th victim killed this year by rabies, in 14 different provinces. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A man in Songkhla bitten by one of his 80 'pet dogs' is the 17th victim killed this year by rabies, in 14 different provinces. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Another rabies death was confirmed in Songkhla Wednesday, bringing the total number of rabies deaths nationwide this year to 17, according to the Disease Control Department (DCD).

The latest death was a 65-year-old resident from Songkhla in the South. It was reported that the man was keeping 80 dogs at home, said Dr Atsadang Ruay-a-chin, deputy director-general of the DCD without revealing the name of the dead man.

The man, who had no record of receiving a rabies vaccine, was bitten by an unidentified dog in January.

He recently received treatment for conditions including tightness in the chest and difficulty swallowing, but was later found to have been infected with rabies.

Meanwhile, in Kalasin, a dog suspected of having rabies was kept in quarantine after it bit two people.

Nirut Sisoi, a senior veterinarian with the provincial livestock office, on Wednesday led a team to catch the dog after receiving a complaint about the dog attacking two people. The animal appeared to be suffering rabies symptoms.

A preliminary assessment of the dog's condition led the team to believe the dog probably has rabies, he said.

It will be kept in quarantine for 15 days and if it does have the disease, it will die within this period, he said.

The two people the dog bit on Tuesday have already received rabies vaccinations, he said.

A preventative rabies vaccination programme for animals will be carried out within a 5-kilometre radius of where the dog was found, he said.

The dog was owned by the family of a policeman; the two victims were neighbours.

The 17 confirmed rabies deaths were reported in 14 provinces -- Buriram, Rayong, Songkhla, Surin, Trang, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phatthalung, Nong Khai, Yasothon, Kalasin, Mukdahan, Tak and Surat Thani.

Dr Atsadang advised those who are bitten, scratched or licked on a wound by a cat or a dog to immediately wash the wound or scratch with water and soap continuously for 10 minutes before applying an antiseptic such as iodine.

Afterwards, the person should immediately consult a doctor, he said.

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