A man gets vaccine against rabies at medical station. Doctors have warned of rising deaths from rabies due to neglect of post-bite vaccination, especially in pregnant women.— Photo laodongthudo.vn
HCM CITY— Doctors have warned of rising deaths from rabies due to neglect of post-bite vaccination, especially in pregnant women.
More than 20 deaths from rabies have been reported in the southern region in the last few years, according to the Pasteur Institute in HCM City.
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is always fatal, doctors said.
No fetal abnormalities have been reported with the rabies vaccine, they said.
Nguyễn Thị H., a 31-year-old pregnant woman, from Thanh Hóa Province’s Lang Chánh District on March 21 died within a few days after she had been bitten by a dog owned by her family.
The dog also had bitten six other people, all of whom received a post-bite vaccination and had no complications.
Dr. Lê Mạnh Hùng, deputy director of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in HCM City, said that many deaths related to dog bites occurred each year due to failure to get post-bite vaccinations.
Dozens of people, including adults and children in HCM City and neighboring provinces, receive rabies vaccination at the hospital every day, Hùng said.
The outbreak of rabies in domestic animals mostly occurs during hot summer weather, said Nguyễn Thị Kim Phượng, an official at the HCM City Animal Quarantine Station.
An average of 35-40 dogs are vaccinated at the station every day, Phượng said.
She said that locals should be careful and get post-bite vaccination if indicated.
Dr. Lê Thị Thu Hà, a doctor at Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital in HCM City, said pregnant women exposed to rabies from dog bites should receive the rabies vaccine.
In Việt Nam, rabies causes around 70-90 deaths every year, according to the Ministry of Health.
Dogs are the source of the majority of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 97 per cent of all rabies transmissions to humans. —VNS