In research published today in the open access journal PLoS Medicine, Dr Heiman Wertheim and colleagues from the National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, Viet Nam, report on two patients admitted to hospital showing signs of rabies infection. Neither patient was thought to have been bitten by a rabid animal in the preceding months.
Rabies is a very serious – and in nearly all cases fatal – disease. It is estimated to kill over 30,000 people each year in Asia, and the number of cases in China and Viet Nam is increasing. Symptoms include agitation, severe spasms, fever, fear of water and inability to drink liquids, and eventually death. Humans are usually infected after being bitten by an infected animal such as a dog or bat.
When the researchers investigated whether the patients had come into contact with infected animals in the preceding months, they found that both had been involved in preparing and eating animals which may have been infected. In the first patient's case, he had prepared and eaten a dog that had been killed in a road traffic accident; rabid dogs were known to inhabit the neighbourhood. The second patient had butchered and eaten a cat that had been sick for a number of days.
In both cases seen by Dr Wertheim and colleagues, it is thought that infection occurred during the slaughtering, and not by eating the meat as the meal was shared by others who did not become infected. In Asia, it is believed that eating dog meat enhances health and longevity. It is eaten throughout the year in the second half of the lunar month, particularly in the winter months, when it is believed to increase body heat.
In Viet Nam, dogs with rabies have been detected in dog slaughterhouses and workers at dog slaughterhouses are vaccinated against rabies as part of the national programme for rabies control and prevention. However, the private slaughter of dogs is relatively common in the country.
"We need to alert both the general public and clinicians about the risks around butchering and handling meat," says Dr Wertheim. "People should not handle animals that may be infected with rabies. Rabies can be prevented with a vaccine and people exposed to rabies can be helped with post-exposure prophylaxis, but this needs to be administered as quickly as possible following the exposure. Once a person shows symptoms, the disease is almost invariably fatal.
"Vietnamese doctors already consider dog slaughtering to be a risk factor for rabies transmission, but it is important that other health care workers and policy makers, both in- and outside Vietnam, are aware of this risk factor."
Craig Brierley | EurekAlert!
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences