Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two Cases Of Rabies In Vietnam After Butchering And Eating A Dog Or A Cat

Date:
March 16, 2009
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
Eating dog meat is common in many Asian countries, but research conducted as part of the South East Asian Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network has discovered a potentially lethal risk associated with preparing dog meat: rabies.

Eating dog meat is common in many Asian countries, but research conducted as part of the South East Asian Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network has discovered a potentially lethal risk associated with preparing dog meat: rabies.

Related Articles


In research published in the PLoS Medicine, Dr Heiman Wertheim and colleagues from the National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi, Viet Nam, report on two patients admitted to hospital showing signs of rabies infection. Neither patient was thought to have been bitten by a rabid animal in the preceding months.

Rabies is a very serious – and in nearly all cases fatal – disease. It is estimated to kill over 30,000 people each year in Asia, and the number of cases in China and Viet Nam is increasing. Symptoms include agitation, severe spasms, fever, fear of water and inability to drink liquids, and eventually death. Humans are usually infected after being bitten by an infected animal such as a dog or bat.

When the researchers investigated whether the patients had come into contact with infected animals in the preceding months, they found that both had been involved in preparing and eating animals which may have been infected. In the first patient's case, he had prepared and eaten a dog that had been killed in a road traffic accident; rabid dogs were known to inhabit the neighbourhood. The second patient had butchered and eaten a cat that had been sick for a number of days.

In both cases seen by Dr Wertheim and colleagues, it is thought that infection occurred during the slaughtering, and not by eating the meat as the meal was shared by others who did not become infected. In Asia, it is believed that eating dog meat enhances health and longevity. It is eaten throughout the year in the second half of the lunar month, particularly in the winter months, when it is believed to increase body heat.

In Viet Nam, dogs with rabies have been detected in dog slaughterhouses and workers at dog slaughterhouses are vaccinated against rabies as part of the national programme for rabies control and prevention. However, the private slaughter of dogs is relatively common in the country.

"We need to alert both the general public and clinicians about the risks around butchering and handling meat," says Dr Wertheim. "People should not handle animals that may be infected with rabies. Rabies can be prevented with a vaccine and people exposed to rabies can be helped with post-exposure prophylaxis, but this needs to be administered as quickly as possible following the exposure. Once a person shows symptoms, the disease is almost invariably fatal.

"Vietnamese doctors already consider dog slaughtering to be a risk factor for rabies transmission, but it is important that other health care workers and policy makers, both in- and outside Vietnam, are aware of this risk factor."

The South East Asian Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network is funded by the Wellcome Trust and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health USA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wertheim et al. Furious Rabies after an Atypical Exposure. PLoS Medicine, 2009; 6 (3): e44 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000044

Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "Two Cases Of Rabies In Vietnam After Butchering And Eating A Dog Or A Cat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316201503.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2009, March 16). Two Cases Of Rabies In Vietnam After Butchering And Eating A Dog Or A Cat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316201503.htm
Wellcome Trust. "Two Cases Of Rabies In Vietnam After Butchering And Eating A Dog Or A Cat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316201503.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins