Mumbai: A nine-year-old boy, who was bitten by a stray dog, died on Monday afternoon at BYL Nair Hospital, having contracted rabies. A senior doctor said the boy, Sujit Wadia, was diagnosed with rabies encephalitis, which caused his death within 24 hours of admission on Monday.
Family members said that he had been bitten by an infected stray dog in April after which he was admitted at Thane Civil hospital for treatment on suspicion of having contracted the disease. He was one of the five people to be bitten by the same infected dog.
Sujit’s father Amrut said, “Sujit had just stepped out of the house when the dog bit him on his back, hands and legs. None of the hospitals in the vicinity admitted him, so we rushed him to Thane Civil Hospital where he was treated in the outpatient department (OPD).” He added that they were later told to go to Nair Hospital for further treatment.
Doctors said treatment of rabies is based on a guideline that the first anti-rabies vaccine must be administered soon after the incident, followed by three doses on the third, seventh and 28th day of the incident. “However, three days before his last vaccine, Sujit’s health condition deteriorated due to which he slipped into coma on Sunday,” added doctor.
Doctors of Nair hospital said he was in a comatose state when brought to the hospital. Dr Sushma Malik, Head, Paediatric Department, Nair Hospital, said, “According to his parents, the boy’s speech had become incohe-rent before he slipped into coma. However, there was no record of hydrophobia (fear of water, which is the common symptom in rabies cases).”
Dr JC Khanna, Secretary of Bombay Veterinary Hospital said that there are several reasons for dogs to bite people. He said, “One of the reasons for dogs behaving like this is the summer heat and insufficient drinking water, which makes them very irritable.”