The Beijing Municipal Health Bureau announced Friday that a
farmer from Beijing's suburban Daxing district had died of rabies,
making him the first permanent resident of the capital to fall
victim to rabies this year.
According to the Bureau, he was bitten in the finger by a small
stray dog when he took it home and tried to tie the animal with a
rope. He scrubbed the wound with iodine but did not go to hospital
Over 140,000 people in Beijing were bitten or scratched by
animals last year, and 12 people died of rabies infections,
including one permanent resident.
The bureau has warned residents not to touch or offend any
street dogs when they visit families and relatives during the Spring Festival.
Rabies, often spread by dogs, attacks the nervous system and is
fatal to humans if not treated prior to the onset of symptoms. It
is the most deadly infectious disease in China followed by
tuberculosis, AIDS, hepatitis B and infant tetanus.
The disease killed more than 2,000 people in other parts of the
country last year.
Beijing now has more than 550,000 registered dogs, but the total
number is estimated to be over 1 million. The capital has 82
outpatient clinics which stay open around the clock to provide
The municipal government launched a two-month campaign in
November last year to check whether Beijingers have licenses for
their dogs, and to ensure no family has more than one dog.
Dangerous dogs or dogs taller than 35 cm, such as mastiffs,
Dobermans, Saint Bernards and Great Danes, are banned.
(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2007)