9-year-old Costa Rican boy dies of rabies after squirrel bite
July 18th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A 9-year-old boy died as the result of being bitten by a rabies-infected squirrel on Wednesday, in the first such case since 2001.
The child lived in the Osa area, and was bitten by the squirrel on May 5th. Apparently the boy was eating a sweet, which the squirrel tried to take from the boy, biting him in the process.
At some point, the boy was taken for medical care in Cuidad Cortés, complaining of body pain and a high fever, but medical personnel did not suspect rabies. On July 4th, his condition worsening, the boy was taken to the National Children’s Hospital, where medical personnel still did not suspect rabies, as in both cases, it seems the boy’s parents neglected to tell medical personnel about the bite. Medical personnel suspected dengue or chikungunya instead.
After the child was admitted to the ICU, one doctor began to suspect rabies, and began to investigate the boy’s history prior to falling ill, when he learned of the squirrel bite. The boy tested positive for rabies, but unfortunately the diagnosis was made too late to save the boy’s life.
Health officials said in a press conference yesterday that the boy’s life could have potentially been saved had medical attention been sought sooner, and the diagnosis of rabies been made earlier.
Health officials advised the public to seek medical care immediately if you are bitten by a wild animal.