In what is clearly one of the most bizarre and potentially tragic stories today, Coconuts Bangkok reports that 13 teenagers in Thailand’s Northeast province of Mukdahan dug up a dog that was buried and ate it, not aware all along, the animal was put down by officials because it was rabid.
The dog was killed because it had attacked a number of locals recently.
The report notes that the teens were sent to Mukdahan Hospital for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
Eating dog meat is considered taboo in most of Thailand.
According to the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, coyotes and cats are the likely suspects. Other animals like otters and ferrets are also high risk. Mammals like rabbits, squirrels, rodents and opossums are rarely infected.
Rabies infected animals can appear very aggressive, attacking for no reason. Some may act very tame. They may look like they are foaming at the mouth or drooling because they cannot swallow their saliva. Sometimes the animal may stagger (this can also be seen in distemper). Not long after this point they will die. Most animals can transmit rabies days before showing symptoms.
Initially, like in many diseases, the symptoms of rabies are non-specific; fever, headache and malaise. This may last several days. At the site of the bite, there may be some pain and discomfort. Symptoms then progress to more severe: confusion, delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations. If it gets this far, the disease is nearly 100% fatal.
Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 69,000 deaths due to rabies annually.
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