Indian-origin woman dies of rabies in Britain

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 15:20 hrs

London, Nov 29 (IANS) A 58-year-old woman of Indian origin, who was bitten by her son's pet dog when she was visiting him in India in March, has died of rabies infection in Britain.

Sharanjit Ubhi went to Darent Valley Hospital, Kent, complaining of pain in her right arm, but she was turned away, the Daily Mail reported.

Ubhi had not mentioned being bitten by a dog and her observations appeared "normal", but when she developed hydrophobia the family doctor recognised the symptoms and sent her for specialist treatment.

However, it was too late and she became the first person in Britain in seven years to die from rabies.

An inquest ruled that Ubhi died of brain and heart failure as a result of rabies infection.

The woman sustained a minor injury to her arm in March 2012 while playing with a puppy, and died in May.

Speaking at her inquest, her family said the bite was so small she did not think of getting herself checked out by a doctor at the time.

It was only when she suffered three days of pain in her arm while at home in Dartford, Kent, that she sought help from doctors.

A hospital spokesman offered condolences to the family and friends of the woman.

"If a patient does present at hospital with vague symptoms a doctor is unlikely to consider rabies as a diagnosis unless the patient highlights animal contact in an at-risk country. The hospital responded to the information supplied by the patient at the time," the spokesman said.

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