[tourismindonesia] Taiwanese tourist returning from Bali treated for rabies

Taiwanese tourist returning from Bali treated for rabies
Central News Agency 
2015-10-21 05:42 PM
Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) A Taiwanese tourist returning from Bali has received follow-up treatment for rabies after she was bitten by a dog and later confirmed to have been infected with the virus on the resort island, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Tuesday. Lo Yi-chun (???), a doctor with the CDC, said the 31-year-old tourist went to Bali on Oct. 11 and was chased and bitten by dogs at one of the island's famous temples -- Tanah Lot -- resulting in wounds to her left calf and ankle that required 30 stitches to close. The tourist also received a tetanus shot, a fast-acting rabies immuno globulin and the first of a series of rabies vaccines, as well as antibiotic shots and oral medicines while in Bali, Lo said. After the tourist returned to Taiwan on Oct. 16, the CDC guided her to the disease inspection and quarantine station at the airport to prepare her for the next round in the series of rabies vaccines. The patient has been hospitalized and remains under observation. Lo noted that between 55,000 and 60,000 people around the world die from rabies every year, with the disease most prevalent in ChinaIndia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The CDC urged travelers to avoid contact with wild animals while traveling in areas where rabies is prevalent. If a traveler is bitten by an animal, he or she should wash the wound with soap and a lot of water for 15 minutes, then disinfect it with iodine or 70 percent concentrated ethyl alcohol before seeking medical treatment, Lo said. There are an estimated 500,000 stray dogs in Bali, but only half of them have been vaccinated against rabies, leaving the 4 million people who visit there every year vulnerable to the disease if they are attacked by dogs. More than 17,000 people were bitten by dogs in Bali in the first six months of this year, and 12 of them died. The problem has been compounded by a shortage of the human rabies vaccines in major tourist areas in Bali for months, the Bali Animal Welfare Association said, according to a report dated Oct. 9 on the Sydney Morning Herald's website. Rabies first appeared in Bali in 2008, and 78 deaths resulted from the outbreak in 2009 and 2010. Only one person died of rabies in 2013 and two died of the disease in 2014 on the resort island. (By Lung Pei-ning, Jay Chou and Lilian Wu)


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