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July 3, 1996

Rabies Prevention: Cost to an Indian Laborer

Author Affiliations

Amarnath Poly Clinic Balasore, India

JAMA. 1996;276(1):32. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540010034026

To the Editor.  —Rabies is a major health hazard in India1 and other developing countries.2 Approximately 500 000 persons receive postexposure treatment and more than 25000 die annually from rabies in India.2 These figures understate the actual incidence because nonreporting of rabies deaths is common. Currently available tissue-culture vaccines are highly immunogenic and safe, although postexposure treatment failures are occasionally reported.3 The costs of the vaccine and other treatments, however, may limit their usefulness in developing countries.

Report of a Case.  —A boy aged 12 years was bitten by a dog in an interior rural area in India when he tried to remove an iron chain from the dog's neck. He received multiple bite wounds on both legs and thighs. The wounds were cleaned and the patient was immunized against tetanus. When the dog died, 5 days after the bite, the patient was given his