ITANAGAR- The District Medical Officer (DMO) of Itanagar Capital Region has raised an alarm about an outbreak of rabies in the Jullang area near Don Bosco College and Chimpu. This comes after an 18-year-old named Nyaro Rusing was brought to TRIHMS with typical signs and symptoms of rabies on September 14th.
Nyaro Rusing, a first-year student at Don Bosco College, had never had any contact with animals until July 2023 when he was bitten on the right hand palm by a two-month-old puppy. Neither Nyaro nor the puppy received an Anti-Rabies Vaccination, resulting in the puppy’s death after the bite.
Dr. Mandip Perme, the DMO, stated that a case investigation is currently underway by the Rapid Response Team with HWO Jullang. An alarm has also been raised in the Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) portal.
Rabies is a global problem and is endemic in India. Rabies cases occur throughout the year, and the majority of cases are associated with dog bites.
India bears the highest burden of global dog-mediated human rabies deaths. Despite this, rabies is not notifiable in India and continues to be underprioritised in public health discussions.
Rabies is a virus which can be contracted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Most often, it is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. The most common carriers of rabies are dogs, both pet and stray, followed by bats, racoons, coyotes, skunks, and foxes.
The rabies virus, once in the body, causes swelling in the brain, which is almost always followed by coma, and eventual death of the infected person. Hence, if not treated early, rabies can be fatal. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms of rabies start to appear, it is almost always too late to treat.
It is crucial for individuals who are bitten by animals, especially those with a risk of rabies transmission, to seek medical attention and receive the necessary vaccinations. This outbreak serves as a reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership, including regular vaccinations to prevent the spread of rabies.