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February 13th 2018

On 22nd December 2017 a lady from Saleri, Goa called the Mission Rabies hotline number regarding her dog which had been acting strangely for three days. The one year old dog hadn't been vaccinated as their dog wasn't tied up when the Mission Rabies team visited the village earlier in the month.

The lady told the team that a stray dog had recently fought and bit their dog. The family initially didn’t worry too much as dog fights are quite common in Goa. But soon afterwards, their dog started acting differently, biting objects and attacking people which it had not done before. The family were unsure what to do so kept it tied up outside their house for the three days while they tried to work out the next step.

Luckily, their eight year old son, Palin Pagi, had noted down the Mission Rabies hotline number from a poster displayed by our education team in his school. He noticed all the signs and remembered the dangers and symptoms of rabies from the lesson the team had given about the signs of rabies and what to do if bitten by a dog. Listening to their son, the parents called the team who immediately rushed to investigate.

The Mission Rabies team in Goa picked up the dog, and euthanised it a humane way. A post mortem on the dog tested positive for rabies.

Palin’s quick thinking saved the day, and his family's life! What a hero!

Without the lessons provided by the Education Team, this story could have ended very differently. By providing these lessons to children and communities, we are helping to save the families worst affected by rabies. Everyone in Palin's family were told to seek immediate post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) vaccinations at the nearest primary health care centre to protect themselves against the disease.