Indian Boy, 14, Dies of Rabies a Month After Getting Bit by Dog, Hiding it from Parents

Shahvaz (left) and a representational image of a dog bite. Twitter

A minor boy in India's Ghaziabad state died of rabies after being bitten by a dog a month ago but keeping the attack a secret from his parents.

The deceased, identified as Shahvaz, was an 8th-grade student who was taken to an Ayurvedic doctor in Bulandshahr for treatment after his health deteriorated. While returning to Ghaziabad he passed away in the ambulance.

Shahvaz Didn't Tell His Parents Out of Fear of Being Scolded

The 14-year-old boy was bitten by the neighbour's dog one-and-a-half-month ago but he did not tell his parents about it. He was scared that they would scold him. He contracted rabies from the bite and started behaving abnormally. According to reports, he stopped eating on September 1 and finally revealed to his family that he was bitten by a dog.

Reportedly the government hospitals in Delhi refused to admit Shahvaz so his family took him to an Ayurvedic doctor in Bulandshahr for treatment.

FIR Filed Against Neighbors Who Owned the Dog

Ghaziabad Police has lodged an FIR against four persons, including members of a neighbouring family in the colony who owned the dog and another individual who works for dog welfare, as reported by The Indian Express.

Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) has also taken cognizance of the matter and issued a notice to the accused family. "It has come to our notice that you are keeping dogs in your house without authorisation...and you leave them in public... the neighbours are facing problems and fear dog bites and rabies," reads the notice.

Neighbor's Dogs Found in Healthy Condition with Vaccination Certificates

GMC further said in its notice that it is mandatory to carry out registration and vaccinate pet dogs. The notice asks the owner to provide registration details of the dogs, failing which the owners would face legal action and a fine of Rs 5000.

GMC Deputy Chief Veterinary, Dr. Anuj Kumar Singh, said a team had visited the accused's family after the incident and checked the dogs' vaccination records. "We found that the family has three pet dogs of Pomeranian breed...They have provided vaccination details.... They had also kept Indian breed dogs. We have asked them to provide details if these dogs were registered or not," the official said.

He further said that the dogs being held responsible are healthy. "It is not clear which dog bit the child. WHO guidelines state that in case of rabies, the victim dies within a few days. However, in this case, the family said that the boy was bitten by the dog around 45 days before. The dogs are physically fine. We can know the actual cause of death after proper probe," Singh said.

The accused family has denied any involvement. "These accusations are completely wrong. All of our pet dogs are vaccinated. We are being targeted for taking care of dogs," said Shivani Rathore, a member of the accused family, to the outlet.