Rabies scare near Vembayam after boy's death

Rabies scare near Vembayam after boy's death
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Venjaramoodu: Improper diagnosis and even superstition claimed the life of an eight-year-old boy here in Thiruvananthapuram district.

Health department officials have confirmed that the boy had died due to rabies, prompting the authorities to carry out a vaccination drive in the locality.

Abhishek, son of Manikuttan and Reena from Nooru Eker at Pinarumkuzhi in Thiruvananthapuram district, died around 1:30 am on Friday. He was a class four student of Thalyal LP School near Vembayam.

Two days prior to his death, Abhishek was found in a weary state. As his parents did not notice any injuries or wounds, they got him a sacred thread for his protection.

Abhishek woke up the next day very agitated and even seemed to fear sunlight. The child was then taken to the District Hospital at Nedumangad, where he was given medicines for fever and sent back, his relatives said.

The child's condition worsened by Thursday evening and he was taken to the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Kanyakulangara around 11 pm. After checking his symptoms, the doctor said the child had probably contracted rabies and referred him to the Sree Avittam Thirunal (SAT) Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram city. 

However, since no vehicle was available then, his parents took him back home and the child breathed his last early Friday morning, the police said.

The body was sent to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital for post-mortem.

The body was cremated on Friday evening.

Abhishek is the second son of Manikuttan and Reena. Their other children are Athulya, Anusree and Athul Krishna.

Manikkal panchayat president S Sujatha demanded a probe into the child's death.

A medical team too visited the house and the locality.

It was found that a lot of dogs were found in the region. One month before, the dog at Abhishek’s house had died.

A few days later, another dog in the neighbourhood was found to have contracted rabies and beaten to death, the medical team was told.

It is suspected that the child could have contracted the disease from the dog's saliva at least 60 days ago.

Vamanapuram block medical officer Dr Sajikumar, doctors of Manikkal-Pulambara PHCs, HI Santhosh, Pradeep and panchayat president S Sujatha were part of the medical team.

The team administered the first phase of vaccination for the people in the locality. The next phase will be given at Vamanapuram Hospital. Authorities also plan to carry out a sanitation drive at Nooru Eker and administer the vaccination to dogs in the area.

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