Belvedere grandmother who died from rabies turned away by hospital

PUBLISHED: 10:19 04 December 2012

Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford

Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford


Belvedere grandmother Sharanjit Ubhi died of rabies after being turned away twice from hospital, an inquest heard last Wednesday.

The 58-year-old died on May 27 nine weeks after being bitten by a small puppy while visiting her brother in India three months earlier.

St Pancras Coroner’s Court was told that she failed to report the bite on both visits to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford and her GP only tested for rabies because he had seen a case before.

Dr Ron Behrens, senior lecturer in tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the symptoms can be vague and infection is usually fatal if not treated with vaccine within 24 hours.

“The disease can incubate for weeks or years after infection and there may be no signs of it during this period.

“If you are bitten you need to find a clinic which has rabies vaccine immediately.”

A spokesperson for Darent Valley said: “We offer our sincere condolences to this poor lady.

“If a patient does present at hospital with vague symptoms a doctor is unlikely to consider rabies as a diagnosis unless the patient highlights animal contact in an at-risk country. We treated her based on the information she presented.”

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