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Monday, December 25, 2017

Not just bite, dog’s scratch too causes rabies.

Not just bite, dog’s scratch too causes rabies. Fifty-year-old Savita (not her real name) was brought to rural doctor Himmat Bawaskar's hospital in Mahad on a May afternoon with an undiagnosed condition, but the diagnosis became obvious when the doctor mentioned 'pani' (water). Savita severely choked just as patients with rabies do on developing its welldocumented symptom - hydrophobia (fear of water). "She was brought to us on the fourth day of fever, bodyache and breathlessness. She heard 'water' and got a laryngeal (vocal cord) spasm," said Dr Bawaskar. Soon, doctors noticed another rabies symptom -extreme sensitivity to light. Dr Bawaskar, who is credited with several researches on snake and scorpion venom, has written about Savita's case in the latest edition of the Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine to highlight poor awareness and dangerous societal practices vis-a-vis rabies. "People in rural areas go to tantriks after a dog-bite though the vaccine and immunoglobulin shots are available at government centres," said the doctor. Savita died after four days at the Mahad hospital, managing to relate how a rabid dog in her village had bitten four people before tugging at her saree 'pallu'. She got a few abrasions on her feet. According to the medical journal, Savita washed the wound and didn't bother about a vaccine as she felt only dog bites cause rabies. She only took herbal medicine from a tantrik. Dr Bawaskar, who has been in the news for filing a case against a diagnostic chain for offering him a cutback for referring a patient for a CT scan, said Savita must have got infected as dogs' nails and claws too harbour the virus as they keep licking them. "This case busts the myth that cuts don't result in rabies," he said. Vaccine is advised for any cut where blood flows out. #rabies #bites #cuts #vaccination.#travel