Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital Teku has reported the first case of paralytic rabies in the country. A 35-year-old man from Sarlahi who was bitten by a jackal has been diagnosed with the disease.

According to Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, coordinator of Clinical Research Unit at the hospital, cases of paralytic rabies are rare. The doctor said the patient was admitted to the hospital a week after

being bitten by a jackal. He was bitten in his head, eye and left thigh.

Paralytic rabies is characterized more by paralytic symptoms, which may include apathy, apparent depression, increased blood pressure, tachycardia, confusion, hallucinations, and disorientation. These symptoms are followed by increased periods of hyperactivity, stiffness in the back of the neck, but lacks symptoms of hydrophobia (fear of water) and aerophobia (fear of drafts or of fresh air).

Dr Pun said classical rabies could be diagnosed with hydrophobia and aerophobia while such symptoms were not seen in patients suffering from paralytic rabies. “The patient developed dumbness and respiratory failure before he died.”

Talking to The Himalayan Times, Dr Pun said the patient’s family informed that the patient died at his home four days after being discharged from the hospital. “The cases of paralytic rabies may increase as 16 people were bitten by the same jackal in Sarlahi. One person had died on the spot as the jackal bit his tongue.

The patient’s wife was also bitten by the jackal. She is receiving treatment at the hospital. The jackal reportedly bit the people while they were working in a sugarcane field.