Rabies kills two children in Meru
Two children died of rabies over the weekend in Igembe Central in Meru County after being bitten by stray dogs marauding in the three villages.
The first child died on Friday while being transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital from Nyambene Sub-County Hospital while the second victim died while receiving treatment at the national referral hospital.
“40 people have been infected with the virus as stray dogs terrorize Mpinda, Nthambiro and Kiengu village,” Nyambene Sub-County Hospital medical officer in charge Michael Kariuki said.
The public health officer said many residents opt to stay at home after being bitten by stray dogs, with several staying up to a month without seeking medical attention after getting infected.
Majority of those infected are children with the number expected to rise.
“We appeal to victims to report to hospital urgently and to relevant government agencies to act fast,” said Dr Kariuki.
READ: Dog killing not solution to end Rabies
Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.
The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.
As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms.
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