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3 year old boy dies in Meru after suffering from rabies



A 3 years old boy has passed away after suffering from rabies in Muruka village in Kandara sub-county, Murang’a County.

According to Murang’a County Health County Executive Committee member Joseph Mbai, the child passed away on Wednesday after developing symptoms synonymous to rabies.

Mbai noted that his parents did not know that he had been bitten by a dog and that it is only at the health centre that it the disease was discovered.

“The child may even have played with a cat that had been bitten by an infected dog,” Mbai said.

He noted that disease is highly infectious and even a lick from an infected animal is enough to infect someone.

The boy is the second person to pass away from the disease in a month’s time after a KCPE candidate passed away after going through her first day of the national examinations.

Lucy Wambui who was a pupil at Mwiting’iri primary school fell ill during the day and was rushed to Thika Level 5 hospital for treatment but passed away soon after she was discharged from the hospital.

Wambui’s elder sibling was also bitten soon afterwards but was able to get treatment in time.

Mbai said the county government is now issuing free rabies vaccines at Muruka, Kandara and Nguthuru health centres for dog bites victims.

Over 15 people have been immunized so far.

Mbai noted that stray dogs started biting people two months ago but victims did not take it seriously until the KCPE candidate died.

“When they eventually reported to us that dogs were biting them, we took the matter seriously and deployed a team of health officials to the area,” he said.

Numerous barazas were also conducted to sensitize people on the disease and how to handle infected dogs, he said.

Mbai pointed out that rabies is a highly infectious disease that kills its victims depending on the site of the bite.

“The closer the bite is to the brain the faster it kills. Its incubation period can range from 72 hours to over one year,” he added.

Mbai cautioned anybody bitten by a dog to rush to the nearest health centres for an immunization saying rabies is a viral disease that has no cure.

“A victim can get immunized before the infection gets to the brain but once it does, nothing else can be done,” he said.

He said after being bitten, victims should lock up the individual dog as infected dogs die in a period of 10 days.

Alice Waithera

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