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Beijing Reports 2nd Fatal Case of Rabies

Beijing health authorities on Thursday reported the second human death from rabies this year.

The victim, a 40-year-old man, was a resident in Beijing's Fangshan District, a spokesman of Beijing Municipal Health Bureau said.

Two months ago, a stray dog bit his thumb of the right hand, but he was not vaccinated against the rabies virus, nor did he go to a clinic for treatment. He just sterilized the wound with ethyl alcohol himself.

Symptoms of the disease appeared on May 7 and he died three days later in hospital.

Beijing had reported a death from rabies in March. The victim, a 48-year-old man, was born in northern Hebei Province and worked as a stoker at a company in the southern Daxing District.

The spokesman said Beijing reported few incidents of rabies. From 1994 to 2004, no cases of rabies had occurred in the municipality. Since August 2005, there have been seven deaths from the disease.

Beijing is vaccinating about 700,000 dogs registered in the city in a bid to prevent rabies.

The annual anti-rabies inoculation, which started on May 1 and will last till June 30, is free of charge.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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