High viral load likely hastened Sreelakshmi's death from rabies

Sreelakshmi. Photo: Manorama Online

Thrissur: The medical fraternity has been baffled by the unfortunate death of a 19-year-old girl, Sreelakshmi, due to rabies though she had vaccinated against the dreaded disease following a dog bite.

The doctors termed the incident as a rare tragedy.

Some medicines may not be effective for some people, doctors said after a high-level meeting here .

Sreelakshmi's death could be because of the high viral load and the rapid spread of the virus to the brain, they concluded. (Viral load denotes the amount of virus in an infected person's blood.)

The meeting also assessed that the dog’s bite on the fingers could have caused the virus to spread to the brain quickly.

The meeting was chaired by Thrissur Medical College principal Dr Prathap Somnath and was attended by the heads of various departments, including general medicine, community medicine, neurology, and microbiology.

Results awaited

The fluid samples of the deceased have been sent to the rabies testing lab at Palode in Thiruvananthapuram. The results will be available on Saturday.

The doctors also said that they have sent a report to the government, detailing the treatment methods adopted by the hospital to prevent rabies infection and the death rates.

A first-year BCA student in Coimbatore, Sreelakshmi died of rabies at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital during the wee hours of Thursday. She is the daughter of Sugunan, a native of Mankara in Palakkad district.

Meanwhile, a doctor who sustained a minor wound while treating Sreelakshmi at the Medical College Hospital has also started taking the vaccination.

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