Probe underway after 3-yr-old boy died following dog attack in C China; rabies vaccines failure may be the cause
Published: May 16, 2024 05:04 PM
Photo shows Xiao Xing's injury on his face.Screenshot from Weibo

Photo shows Xiao Xing's injury on his face.Screenshot from Weibo

The recent death of a 3-year-old boy, suspectedly due to rabies virus immune failure after a dog bite in Henan Province, Central China, has sparked deep concern over the rabies vaccines. Local police and center for disease control are investigating the incident.

The boy was bitten by a dog on April 21 in Zhaogang village of Nanyang city in Henan. At that time, the boy, identified by his mother as "Xiao Xing", was walking with his grandmother and younger sister near a road in the village, when a dog suddenly emerged and began attacking him, causing multiple injuries to his face, neck, and legs.

Following the attack, the family took Xiao Xing to a local hospital, where he received urgent rabies vaccinations. The boy was then admitted to another hospital for further treatment, where he received tetanus vaccinations and wound debridement. After nine days of hospitalization, he was discharged on May 1.

Xiao Xing's mother said his condition seemed to have improved upon discharge, as he expressed a desire to return to kindergarten. However, his health deteriorated starting from May 7, suffering from an acute fever. One day after, he began experiencing frequent vomiting and agitation, which prompted an emergency transfer to the ICU of Nanyang Maternal and Child Health Hospital and tragically he passed away on May 9.

Xiao Xing's mother expressed concern to Red Star News on Wednesday regarding the adequacy of medical treatment, alleging that improper diagnosis and treatment led to the failure to neutralize and eliminate the rabies virus. 

Staff at the outpatient department of the local community hospital where Xiao Xing was initially treated informed Red Star News that they followed guidelines and made the utmost efforts to treat the boy.

Officials from the Nanyang Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention informed media that they have launched an investigation into the incident of rabies immunization failure. They stated that in their 25 years of immunization work, Nanyang city has never experienced a case of rabies immunization failure. A special investigative team has been formed to probe the matter.

The dog's owner is currently under investigation by local authorities, an official from Xinye county told local media.

Global Times