Rescue & Aid

Emergency rabies vaccine reaches quake zone

Updated: 2010-04-20 17:51
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YUSHU, Qinghai - An emergency dispatch of 200 doses of rabies vaccine Tuesday arrived in northwest China's quake-hit area, as more than 10 people had been bitten by Tibetan mastiffs, according to the health department of the rescue headquarters.

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Many Tibetan mastiffs had became homeless as 90 percent of the houses collapsed in Gyegu town of the Tibet Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai Province in the earthquake. Seven or eight rescuing soldiers had been injured from mastiff bites, a military medical official said.

The injured people previously only got tetanus injections, as no rabies vaccine was available, the official said.

The two hundred doses of rabies vaccine sent from the provincial capital of Xining were being given to the injured for free, Deng Er'tai, an official with the provincial disease prevention and control center said.

The Tibetan mastiff, an ancient breed of domestic dog, was very aggressive when guarding its territory. The dogs had attacked the rescuers looking for survivors in the debris of their owners' homes, said Yan Xilong, an expert on Tibetan mastiff.

A 7.1-magnitude quake jolted Yushu county of the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Yushu last Wednesday. At least 2,046 people had been killed and 12,135 injured as of 10:00 a.m. Tuesday.