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5-year-old girl dies of rabies

Sadiya was attacked by rabid dog on March 25; treated at PGI and discharged after about a week.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
April 16, 2015 6:04:36 am
Sadiya with her mother (right) and Mayor Poonam Sharma in PGI on Wednesday. Sadiya with her mother (right) and Mayor Poonam Sharma in PGI on Wednesday.

Five-year-old Sadiya, who was brutally attacked by a rabid dog in Manimajra on March 25, died of rabies on Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, her organs started failing, she found it difficult to breathe and was writhing in pain in the paediatric emergency of the PGI where she was admitted on Wednesday morning.

One of the doctors treating her said, “The child has rabies and her condition is very critical. There is nothing much we can do.”

Mayor Poonam Sharma, who was at the emergency all day to help Sadiya’s family, said, “Doctors are trying to convince the family to take her home, as there is no treatment available.”

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The dog had torn Sadiya’s face and lips and she was rushed to the PGI. She was given the anti-rabies treatment and discharged from the hospital after about a week. After her condition deteriorated on Wednesday morning, she was again brought to the PGI.

Sitting outside the emergency, Sadiya’s mother Imrana prayed for her daughter.

Talking to Newsline, she said, “There was improvement in Sadiya’s health after she was discharged from the hospital. She used to play, watch television and eat food on her own, although she complained of weakness.”

“Two days back, she developed fever and I took her to the local civil dispensary. Her condition deteriorated this morning, she started frothing at the mouth and nose. I immediately rushed her to the Civil Hospital in Manimajra, from where she was referred to PGI,” said the mother.

As part of her anti-rabies treatment, Sadiya had been given tetanus injection, immunoglobulin serum, and the anti-rabies vaccine of which only the last dose was left to be given.

Asked why she got the disease in spite of the treatment, an expert explained, “Dog-bite injuries on the hand and the face can be deadly. In these, the rabies virus travels through nerves to the brain very quickly. Anti-rabies treatment should be given immediately in such cases.”

In Sadiya’s case, immunoglobulin serum was given about 12 hours after the dog-bite. The serum contains antibodies which protect the body for three or four weeks until the anti-rabies vaccine starts making its own antibodies.

The delay was because the Manimajra dispensary where the child was rushed after the dog-bite did not refer her to the anti-rabies clinic in Sector 19, but to the PGI where the doctors did not guide the family from where they could get the serum, nor did they tell the family members that they should go to the anti-rabies clinic.

The expert said, “The correct dose and the quality of serum also matter. Was the girl given the correct dose? Twenty units of the human serum, or 40 units of the equine serum, per kilogram of the body weight is the right dose.”

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