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Bali Records Two More Rabies Fatality

Latest Victims Bitten by Dogs in South Bali in November and December 2008.

(3/30/2009) Rabies in Bali has claimed two more victims. I Nyoman Jama Asmara, 46, died at in the isolation ward of Sanglah General Hospital on Monday, March 23, 2009, after being hospitalized for one day. The second victim, Tukimah, a 46-year-old woman was admitted to the same hospital in the early hours of Nyepi, March 26, 2009, and died 17 hours later, in the late afternoon of the same day.

I Nyoman Jama Asmara

Asmara, a resident of Jalan Uluwatu on the Ungasan peninsula in south Bali, was confirmed by hospital officials as clinically positive for the deadly disease, when initially presenting at the hospital with a throat infection, fits of anger, and phobias towards water and wind.

According to Radar Bali, Asmara succumbed to rabies three months after being bitten by a stray dog, despite receiving an anti-rabies shot. Doctors blame Asmara's failure to undergo the complete three-shot therapy protocol, a mistake which allowed the disease to eventually claim the man's life.

Tukimah

Tukimah, a 46-year-old woman, was admitted to hospital after developing a phobia for water. She was reportedly bitten by both a stray dog and a pet dog 5 months ago, but due to a fear of needles refused the recommended series of three shots that would have spared her life.

Meanwhile, local legislators are making statements to the press critical of an alleged passive response to suspected rabies cases displayed by local health officials. In any case, both deaths underline the need for those bitten by an animal to seek medical assistance and follow the entire course of treatment to cure the disease.

Asmara's and Tukimah's deaths are counted as the 8th and 9th fatalities traced to the current outbreak of rabies on the island of Bali.