Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

A three-year-old girl from Lamjumsa village of Norbugang (Chengmari) gewog in Samtse died of rabies infection on November 11.

The child died two months after a stray dog had bitten her.

According to sources, the child’s parents did not take the child to the hospital after the stray dog scratched her chest.

Samtse’s assistant health officer, Thinley Choden, said the parents had washed the wounds but didn’t bring her to hospital.

“The parents were aware of the rabies risk but thought it was just a scratch and washing it would be enough.”

The health official also said the parents did not share the incident with neighbours.

“Until the child died recently, nobody in the village knew the child was scratched by a rabid dog.”

She also said the child had not shown any symptoms.

Thinley Choden said that rabies symptoms could show as early as 10 days or as late as nine to ten years, with some patients even showing the symptoms after 20 years.

She said the dog had also infected a one-year-old calf, which also died recently. It was learnt that the dog had also died.

Lamjumsa is connected with a farm road and considering Samtse’s proximity with the border, there are high chances of the rabid entering from across the border.

Meanwhile, the deceased’s parents and four other members in the family have all been exposed to the disease. They are currently being given post-exposure prophylaxis for rabies.