By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

In a follow-up on human rabies cases in South Africa, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reports the death of a 10-year-old child in the township of Umbumbulu near Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province.

NICD reports the boy was bitten by a dog in November 2020. The child was not taken to see a medical professional until after the onset of symptoms. He died on January 7.

Laboratory analysis on post-mortem samples were positive for rabies.

NICD said a total of seven cases of human rabies was laboratory-confirmed in South Africa, including six in KZN.

Disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted, with the majority of deaths recorded in children <15 years of age, the NICD notes. In order to achieve zero rabies deaths, bite prevention education and awareness of rabies are needed. For the effective delivery of PEP, good public awareness of rabies and access to treatment are critical.

Timely prophylaxis, including wound cleaning, vaccines and occasionally rabies immunoglobulin,
are required for people exposed to rabies. In South Africa’s public health care facilities, human rabies vaccines and immunoglobulin are provided free of charge.

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