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    Tuesday September 25, 2001

Rabid dog bites 52 people in three-hour rampage

A rabid dog has gone on the rampage in Bangkok and bitten over 50 people in three hours.

The Bangkok Municipal Administration immediately warned dog owners to put collars on their pets and sent out teams of catchers to round up strays which plague the capital.

By piecing together information from people attacked, city officials had established that at least 52 were bitten in the dog's frenzy. It was eventually caught and beaten to death by city guards.

Dr Boonlert Lamlertpreecha, a Thai Red Cross vet, appealed to anyone attacked by a dog around the city's Chatuchak Market on Sunday to take a medical test and a vaccine for rabies urgently.

"I would also warn anyone who was bitten by a dog in nearby areas during the past five days to get the antibody test as soon as possible because your life is in danger," he said.

Boonlert said tests on the corpse showed it was carrying rabies.

City officials said rabid dogs would be destroyed but healthy strays would be sterilised and held in a shelter for adoption. If nobody wanted or claimed them, they would eventually be released on the street again.

Fifty people died from rabies in Thailand last year and 29 have died so far this year, according to the Public Health Ministry.

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