14 pupils bitten by classmate vaccinated against rabies
Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
FOURTEEN Form one pupils at Tshazi Secondary School in Insiza who were bitten by their classmate (14) have been vaccinated against rabies while their attacker has been referred for mental evaluation.
Insiza District Medical Officer, Dr Mandlenkosi Nkala said the pupils were vaccinated as tests were inconclusive as the 14 year-old boy, who was also vaccinated against rabies could be in an incubation period. “If there is a dog bite we don’t resort to testing. What we do is if there is human bite in a bizarre incident like that one we resort to giving the vaccine because if we were to do the tests, what if the one who was biting was in the incubation period? It won’t give us any results. We managed to get the vaccines for them and we had to give them the following day. They were all vaccinated against rabies,” said Dr Nkala.
He said the rabies vaccination was administered in three phases. “The vaccination is three-phased, we have given them the first dose, the next one is after seven days and they will be given the third one the 21st day,” he said.
Dr Nkala said their attacker had been referred for a mental examination.
School authorities on Monday took the pupils to Filabusi District Hospital for medical tests following a biting frenzy by the juvenile on Thursday last week.
Sources at the school said veterinary officials visited the school as they feared the juvenile could be rabid.
“It just happened on Thursday, the boy was behaving like he had fallen into a trance. He bit his classmates and seriously injured one boy who had to be rushed to hospital bleeding. A chunk of flesh was removed from his arm sending shivers to pupils who witnessed the incident,” said a source.
His classmates, sources said, are now scared of the boy following the incident. “Pupils in his class were very scared as they had not seen such a strange incident before. Rumour swirled that the boy could either be possessed by ancestral spirits or he is rabid,” said another source.
Pupils who witnessed the incident said it was unexpected. They said their classmate was not provoked.
“He acted like he was possessed. Sasicabanga ukuthi uledlozi (We thought he is possessed by ancestral spirits) and he bit 14 of our classmates and we managed to escape and watch from outside,” said one of the pupils.
“Everyone got scared afterwards and we now fear that it could happen again and he could injure more.” — @AuxiliaK