Authorities warn citizens to stay away from cats and dogs after man dies of rabies

A 38-year-old man has died of rabies after being bitten by a neighborhood dog, forcing authorities to order the execution of strays and those without proper documentation.

Minhang District yesterday issued an emergency alert on homeless dogs and cats after a man died of rabies after being bitten by a dog, which is still at large.

The district’s animal epidemic disease prevention headquarters has asked the sub-districts and towns in Minhang to take emergency measures to avoid another similar incident from occurring. 

The 38-year-old male resident, surnamed Yao, died of rabies at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center at 2am on Tuesday, two months after being bitten on the back of his left hand by a pet dog in the community.

Since the dog has yet to be caught, the headquarters ordered the Jiangchuan sub-district where Yao was bitten, as well as nearby towns and communities, to begin catching and killing homeless dogs and cats as well as those without certification of vaccination to ensure the safety of residents.

The district agricultural commission has also begun collecting blood samples of all dogs within the community that Yao lived.

Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and is almost always fatal once contracted, according to the World Health Organization. It has latency periods ranging from several months to a decade.

“Those who are bitten or scratched by dogs, cats, as well as rabbits and rats must go to the hospital in time,” said Wang Houming, a doctor with the Jiading District Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital. Wang suggested that residents, especially children, stay away from manic or pregnant cats and dogs, as well as those with cubs.

In this deadly case, Yao was only bitten slightly and didn't bleed on May 6, so he simply cleaned and sterilized the wound. However, he began showing symptoms of anxiety, chest depression and fear of wind, light, and water. He also suffered difficulty swallowing on July 12.

He took a vaccine on July 14, but his conditions became serious and he eventually died four days later.

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