Schoolboy Dies of Rabies as Man Loses Finger in Attack


A 12-year-old boy from Buleleng died of rabies this week, after being bitten by a dog and failing to receive post-bite vaccination.

He is the latest victim of Bali’s rabies crisis that broke out in southern areas in late 2008 and has killed around 130 people. The boy’s death came as news emerged that a Frenchman was savagely attacked by a pack of suspected rabid dogs in Jimbaran, leading to the loss of a finger.

Putu Surya Wiranta, a pupil at the local elementary school in Dencarik, Buleleng, was taken to the main Buleleng hospital on Monday suffering from fever and a fear of water.

His family told doctors he had been bitten by a dog while walking home from school about five months ago, but had not told anyone at the time and therefore had received no treatment.

He died shortly after being brought to the hospital.

“After a medical examination, we found that the he had been exposed to rabies having previously been bitten by a dog, and not seeking early treatment,” said director of Buleleng Hospital Dr Nyoman Mardana.

Meanwhile, the French citizen was attacked by stray dogs in Jimbaran on Monday, losing a finger and risking exposure to rabies. He will have the costs of emergency treatment and vaccination covered by the authorities, officials said.

Frederick Carrlen, 40, who is resident in Bali, was walking with his pet dog near his home in the Puri Gading housing complex in Jimbaran when he was attacked by five strays. One of his fingers was bitten off in the attack.

His wife, Peni Candrawati, recovered the detached digit but doctors at Denpasar’s Sanglah Hospital, where Carrlen was taken for treatment, were unable to reattach it.

The head of the Bali Animal Husbandry Department, Made Badra, said on Tuesday it was the first attack by dogs on a foreigner.

A previous island-wide culling of stray dogs — the main viral container whose numbers are estimated in the hundreds of thousands — was shelved last September in favour of a dog-vaccination scheme backed by foreign animal welfare groups.

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7 Responses to “Schoolboy Dies of Rabies as Man Loses Finger in Attack”

  1. Carol Fleming-Phillips Says:

    130 people dead, one person loses a finger-what next?????
    A massive cull covering the WHOLE of Bali is the only way rabies will be eradicated.
    I call on Governor Pastika to address this very serious matter urgently.

  2. Mark Ulyseas Says:

    This is pathetic. The Balinese Government is going to pay the medical bills of an expat because he was bitten by dogs? And what about the 130 Balinese that have died due to rabies? Is the Government going to compensate the families? And has the Government paid the medical bills of the Balinese? I don’t think so.

    Wake and smell the Kopi Bali…it is time to compensate the Balinese, as well as, criminally prosecute BAWA and the concerned Government officials.

    I think it is time that The Bali Times puts the photos of the 130 Balinese killed on the front page, with their ages and the respective Banjar.

  3. dave Says:

    Hear hear guys, well said, when we go back to shooting stray dogs, can we also dispose of BAWA in the same fashion?
    Wonder if Ms. Girardi has any pangs of conscience?

  4. Sean Says:

    First attack by stray dogs on foreigner? Really? Hmnnn.

  5. Paul (Jimbaran) Says:

    Keep feeding them and this will continue. Probably first time reported or allowed to be reported. Don’t want to upset the tourists.

  6. Sam Says:

    Dave, you really need to get some perspective. BAWA and Ms Girardi did not infest Bali with rabies, nor bite anyone’s finger off, they are working to eradicate the disease without the senseless slaughter of dogs WHICH DOESN’T CONTROL RABIES AS RECENT HISTORY IN OUR ISLAND SHOWS. Even the Bali Times has had to admit that rabies cases have halved since the vaccinations began. What they won’t explain is that the recent rabies deaths are as a result of bites BEFORE the vaccinations because then you wouldn’t be able to blame BAWA. Wake up and smell the Kopi indeed.

  7. James Says:

    Criticizing BAWA in this affair is utter nonsense, absolutely illogical, and insulting. BAWA has not only helped reduce the problem of rabies in Bali by vaccination, they also help with a hotline and school education.

    The first thing to note is that BAWA is following WHO (World Health Organization) protocol. It’s not just about loving dogs, it’s about fighting rabies with a proven method. The best method we currently know.

    The government of Bali did not follow BAWA’s and WHO’s advice at the beginning and so the virus spread from Nusa Dua to the rest of the island. BAWA and WHO wanted to contain it there.

    The government didn’t accept BAWA’s way out of thin air. They accepted it after realizing that culling did not help. The only regency that was showing signs of improvement and control was Gianyar where BAWA was authorized to vaccinate dogs. It took the government two years to finally realize it was doing it wrong and embrace the method that is known to be effective.

    I use to live in Sedap Malam where almost all dogs were culled by the government a year and a half ago. Two weeks later, new dogs were roaming the area. Killing dogs opens up territory for other dogs to invade. This is how the virus spreads. Vaccinated dogs protect their territory making it harder for vagabond dogs to move around on the island.

    My wife was bit a few days ago. BAWA was super helpful. I call the hotline and Janice called my back personally. She is a God send. The next day they showed up to pick up the dog. (It was contained until they arrived). Now they are observing it. As for my wife, she followed the treatment we learned through BAWA advertisements. That is a clean thorough washing with running water, soap, and alcohol just after being bit, and then getting her vaccination started. Vaccinations were free at the hospital. I had to shell out about 200 dollars for ERIG, since HRIG was like 1200$.

    You’ll note that almost all deaths have occurred because victims did not seek proper treatment. This is a problem due to education. BAWA is working on this, but it would be amazing is the government could make TV shows, advertising, etc… to really push out the proper information. The problem is that they are scared to frighten people and give Bali a bad reputation. This is why they were culling because seeing less dogs gives the false impression that rabies is not around.

    Another problem was that the government of Bali was receiving big sums from Jakarta to do their culling. We can easily imagine that some of this money was corrupted. By accepting BAWA’s help, they were in danger of losing this cash cow.

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