Teenager Dies of Suspected Rabies
A 16-year-old high-school student from Buleleng has died of suspected rabies, the latest fatality in Bali’s more than two-year war against the disease largely vectored by masses of stray dogs.
Putu Yuli Antara Yasa, from Tigawasa village in the Banjar district, was brought to Buleleng Hospital with critical rabies-like symptoms on Monday evening, and died the following morning, doctors said.
“The patient arrived with critical rabies-like symptoms, showing behaviour typical of rabies sufferers. According to medical records he had been bitten by a dog last year, but hadn’t received post-bite vaccination,” said director of Bandung Hospital Dr Nyoman Mardana.
Blood tests have been taken and sent for forensic analysis to confirm rabies, Mardana said, adding that the symptoms — which included high fever and a fear of water — made it almost certain that Yasa had been suffering from the disease.
“Usually it takes about a week to process the test to ascertain whether the victim had rabies or some other disease,” he said.
Rabies, which in late stages is usually fatal, was discovered in southern areas of Bali in late 2008 and since then around 130 people have died from the disease.
The Bali authorities have shelved a mass-culling programme in favour of a dog-vaccination scheme carried out in cooperation with the Bali Animal Welfare Association in Ubud. It aims to inoculate 70 percent of the island’s strays, a threshold it is believed will prevent the rabies virus from replicating.Filed under: Headlines