LA PAZ – An 8-year-old girl died in Bolivia of rabies after being bitten by a puppy three months ago at home, authorities in the eastern Santa Cruz region, where the death occurred, said on Tuesday.
The Santa Cruz Provincial Health Department, or Sedes, said in a communique that the death occurred Monday and that the minor came from the rural municipality of Portachuelo.
According to Sedes, the child’s mother did not report the bite to any medical center until she had her admitted a week ago as the symptoms of the disease intensified.
This is the first case of death from rabies recorded in the eastern Santa Cruz region in two and a half years, Sedes said.
It is the third case of death from rabies reported in Bolivia so far this year, since in March a woman, 28, died, as did a 63-year-old man in May, both infected by dog bites in the central region of Cochabamba.
More than 300,000 stray dogs live on the streets of Bolivia, a country with some 10 million inhabitants, according to Health Ministry officials.
The packs of dogs that wander the streets and feed on whatever they find in the garbage are a typical sight in Bolivian cities like La Paz, though the dogs are not usually aggressive toward people.
In Bolivia it is also a common practice for domestic dogs to spend the day on the street and return home to their owners at night to eat and sleep.