A father died from rabies after doctors told him the cat bite to his finger should be treated with anti-itch cream, an inquest heard.
Omar Zouhri, 58, contracted the fatal disease while on holiday in Morocco when he became one of several people bitten by a rabid cat in the street.
It wasnt until two months later, in October last year, that he started exhibiting symptoms of furious rabies, indicating the virus had entered his central nervous system sealing his fate.
Mr Zouhri attended an out-of-hours GP service on October 28 complaining of pain and itching in his finger.
But he was reassured his symptoms were not due to rabies and was advised to try anti-itch cream, Oxfordshire Coroners Court heard.
He contacted his GP the following day to report pain radiating up his arm from the bite on his finger, which had fully healed and later called again to tell them about muscle twitching randomly.
Mr Zouhri attended Stoke Mandeville Hospital again on October 31, where he was seen by another doctor, Sheila Paul.
She told the inquest: He seemed confused and unable to answer my questions clearly. I asked his son if he was here to translate but he told me his father spoke excellent English when he was well – this was unusual.
After being rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital on November 1, he was flagged up as a high-risk case and given the only known treatment for the disease, but died a month later.
The inquest heard how he had taken himself and a boy who had also been bitten to hospital in Morocco where he was given a tetanus injection and paid for the boy to have one too.
Mr Zouhri later went to a local police station to complain about how unhelpful the medics had been and that they had not given him the proper treatment for rabies, which is most effective when given within 24 hours of exposure to rabies.
He was prompted to attend A&E after hearing the young lad had since died.
But the nurse who saw him, Menchie Mallari, admitted she was unaware of guidelines saying a person bitten by a suspected rabid animal should be reported and managed urgently, a risk assessment carried out and a microbiologist contacted.
Instead, she bumped him on to a plastic surgeon, Dr Marie Song, who she claimed told her: Rabies can acquire most from dog, not cat.
Coroner Darren Salter told the inquest in his closing remarks: It does seem that the onset of symptoms of clinical rabies was from October 28.
We have heard reference to the phrase “the die was cast”Read More – Source