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Woman dies of rabies in Beijing
Updated: 2006-02-26 11:54

A 37-year-old woman died of rabies in Beijing last week, reports the Municipal Bureau of Health.

The victim, from Central China's Henan Province, was bitten by her puppy dog that had not been immunized on Jan. 10. She died on Feb. 14 in Southwest Beijing's Fangshan District.

From Feb. 13 to 19, hospitals in Beijing saw a rapid increase of patients who were injured by their pets.

In addition, 204 citizens have called the city's health hotline for information about rabies during the past week, accounting for 42 percent of the total calls.

Rabies is an acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease that can affect most warm-blooded animals, especially wolves, cats, and dogs. It attacks the central nervous system and is transmitted by the bite of infected animals.

The latent period of rabies can be as short as 10 days and as long as 10 years, according to Su Bogu, deputy director of the Emergency Treatment Department of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.

Once it fully develops, the mortality rate is 100 percent, Sun said.

Beijing has seen a gradual increase in rabies cases in recent years due to the increase of pet cats and dogs raised by citizens, he said.

He urged health authorities to improve public awareness of the disease.

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