A man from Tegallalang in Gianyar died of rabies in Sanglah Hospital on Saturday — only 20 minutes after being admitted to the hospital’s rabies ward.
Gianyar is one of the two regencies where proponents of a vaccination-only rabies control programme conducted the pilot programme that led this month to the provincial government agreeing to a foreign-funded mass vaccination programme as an alternative to mass dog culls.
Wayan Leges, 43, of Banjar Taro Kaja in Tegallalang, was declared a rabies case by the Sanglah rabies team. Its secretary, Dr Ken Wirasandhi, said the man died at 12.30am, shortly after admission.
“He had been under our nursing care for 20 minutes,” Dr Wirasandhi said.
Leges was bitten on his right leg about two months ago but according to Dr Wirasandhi the bites were not dealt with seriously. “There is no history of wound care or of anti-rabies vaccine,” he said.
He said it was certain Leges had rabies, from observation of the clinical symptoms he showed. “Phobia had emerged so it was almost certainly rabies,” he said.
Until Saturday’s death there had been no recorded human rabies fatalities in Gianyar or neighbouring Bangli regency since the Bali Animal Welfare Association — which has been given the job of managing the new island-wide scheme — began its pilot community-based dog-vaccination programme in both districts.
Nearly 100 people have died from rabies in Bali since the outbreak began almost two years ago.