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Teen Girl Dies of Rabies in Nong Khai

A 15-year-old girl has died from rabies in Muang district after being scratched by a puppy a few months ago, the eighth fatality from the viral disease this year. Pratthana Sae Tang, a Mathayom Suksa3 (Grade 9) student at Laofai Padungwit School, had taken a two-month-old puppy into her home in December last year. She later received a scratch on the neck from the puppy, an aunty, Noomon Khenaphum. The girl’s grandparents wanted to take her to a hospital for rabies shots but she refused, saying it was only a scratch.
On April 19, she fell ill with a fever, exhaustion and weakness. Relatives took her to Nong Khai Hospital, where she showed symptoms of rabies, with saliva coming out of her mouth and losing control of rabies, with saliva coming out of her mouth and losing control of herself. She died around 2pm on April 20, said Noopan Panwilai, 60, another aunty.
The funeral rites for the girl were held on April 21. Local officials from several agencies later went to her home, seeking information, and learned about the puppy scratch. Dr Somchaichote Piyawatwela, head of Nong Khai provincial public health office, said the girl was diagnosed with rabies. She was the eighth person to die from rabies in Thailand this year.
Health records confirmed she had not been vaccinated after being scratched, said Dr Somchaichote. He advised the girls’ relatives and friends to be vaccinated. Livestock officials had provided free rabies vaccination for dogs and cats in Muang district, he said.

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