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700 dogs killed after rabies death

Updated: 2012-05-10 13:25
By Huang Zhiling (

More than 700 dogs have been put down in Jiajiang county, Sichuan province, in the wake of a rabies case that resulted in the death of a woman.

On the way back home from a local market on April 24, Zhang Dingxiu, a 63-year-old inhabitant of Taiping village, Mucheng town, was bitten twice by a neighbor's dog, according to the West China Metropolis Daily.

"Because she did not feel ill, my wife only cleaned the wounds with alcohol," recalled Zhang's husband Guo Wenxiao.

"She should have sought treatment in a hospital," the 64-year-old said regretfully at home while smoking.

While working in the fields five days later, Zhang's shoulders became numb but the feeling relapsed after she raised both her hands.

The next day she went to the public health center in Mucheng where a doctor gave her some traditional Chinese medicine for rheumatism.

"But before she took the medicine, she felt worse — on May 1. She was scared of the sight of water and wanted to vomit," Guo was quoted as saying by the West China Metropolis Daily.

That morning, Zhang was hospitalized in the public health center in Mucheng but medics could not find the cause of her symptoms.

Her condition deteriorated and she was transferred to the Jiajiang county hospital in the early hours of May 3.

"As she did not take a turn for the better, my wife was transferred to an armed police hospital in Leshan, which has Jiajiang under its administration, at noon on May 4," Guo said.

Doctors there diagnosed Zhang as suffering from rabies. Zhang died early in the morning on May 5.

"It was the first case of death from rabies in Mucheng town in five years," said Xue Huaijun, chief of the Mucheng town government.

The town then launched an emergency response system. It began to put down dogs within a 3 kilometer range of Zhang's home in line with Sichuan provincial regulations pertaining to the prevention and control of rabies.

Since then, the town has organized more than 100 people to put down more than 700 dogs in its Taiping and Baimian villages.

"Officials have counted the number of dogs in their villages and owners have been asked to send their dogs to designated sites to be killed," Xue said.

The dead dogs have been buried deep in two six-meter-deep pits after being burned with gasoline and covered with lime, he said.