The rabies vaccination rate among dogs is still low in many places in Vietnam. VNA/VNS Photo

The 50-year-old man lived in Me Linh District, Hanoi. The CDC report said he joined his relatives in slaughtering two dogs in the past two months. 

The dogs had been healthy for more than five months before they were killed but were not vaccinated against rabies. 

It is unclear whether the patient was bitten or injured when dissecting the dogs. He had not been inoculated against rabies either.

On October 16, the patient showed symptoms of headache, fever, fatigue, fear of water, wind and light, and shortness of breath. He was taken to Me Linh General Hospital on October 18 and tested positive for influenza B.

During the treatment, the patient was irritable, talking excessively, and uncooperative. 

On October 19, he was transferred to Bach Mai Hospital, where health authorities suspected he might have rabies, and transferred him to the Center for Tropical Diseases. 

His samples were taken and sent to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology for testing while his symptoms worsened.

The patient died on October 19, and was taken home for burial by his family. The test results were delivered on the morning of October 20, confirming that he had rabies.

This is the second case of rabies in Hanoi reported this year. The first patient also passed away.

In the same period of 2021, the capital city recorded only one death from rabies.

Rabies is caused by Lyssavirus, which belongs to the family Lyssaviridae. After entering the body of humans and mammals, the virus travels through the nervous system into the spinal cord and brain, destroying nerve centres in the brain and causing a state of madness in animals and humans.

The rabies virus is mainly transmitted from the saliva of rabid animals to humans. Many people mistakenly believe that they will get rabies only when bit by a rabid dog. However, it can also be transmitted from the saliva of an infected animal through a scratch or lick on an open wound or abrasion of a person. 

Source: Vietnam News