Two More Die from Rabies

DENPASAR ~ Two more people have died from rabies in Bali, medics said this week.

According to Sanglah Hospital rabies prevention team leader Dr. Ken Wirasandi, the first victim, I Nyoman Jama Asmara, died on March 23 shortly followed by Tukimah, 46, on March 26.

“Tukimah’s family said she had been bitten by a dog five months ago and suspected she had rabies because of her symptoms, including trouble breathing, aversion to water and difficulty swallowing,” Dr. Wirasandi said.

Dr. Wirasandi called for people to be vigilant about the virus, which is curable.

“If you are bitten by a dog go straight to the hospital for treatment. We do whatever we can for rabies patients, but the earlier it is caught, the easier it is to treat. It is in the hands of the people to come to us quickly for treatment,” he said.

The latest deaths bring to at least six the number of people who have died from the virus in southern parts of Bali since late last year, as the authorities grapple with a culling-and-inoculation program in a bid to rid the island of rabies.

The island’s governor, I Made Mangku Pastika, is said to be mulling a directive to keep all stray dogs – thought to be the primary carrier of the disease – off the streets.

Filed under: The Island

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