By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The South Africa National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported the first human rabies case and death of 2021 in a child from KwaZulu-Natal.
The case was a 2-year-old boy from eNgonyameni, near uMlazi (south of eThekwini District) in KwaZulu-Natal Province.
The child sustained an injury on his head while playing with a dog in the last week of January 2021. The boy was taken to hospital, but reportedly no rabies PEP was administered.
Purportedly, the dog died. The boy was admitted to a hospital on 10 February with fever, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, muscle spasm, hypersalivation, hydrophobia, confusion, agitation, hyperactivity and aggressive behavior, and died the following day. A single saliva sample, collected before the patient died,
tested positive on rabies RT–PCR.
In 2020, the total number of laboratory confirmed human rabies cases is eight. These cases have been
reported from KwaZulu-Natal (n=6) and Limpopo (n=2) provinces, including a 9-year-old boy who acquired the infection in December 2020, but died in 2021.
In South Africa, the majority of cases of human rabies are linked to dog bites, so controlling the disease in these animals prevents the spread of the disease to humans.
The COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa has affected the control and prevention of rabies. As expected, dog owners and communities were less involved in the vaccination of their pets.