A man in Jiangsu Province died Tuesday after trying to save his son by using his mouth to suck blood from a rabid dog bite.
Mr. Jiang, 41, was worried when his son was bitten on the leg by a stray dog on Aug. 29. He used hot water to clean the injury, and then sucked blood from the wound and spat it out several times in an attempt to remove any infection.
The father took the young man to the hospital where he received the rabies vaccine, but Mr. Jiang did not get a shot himself to avoid spending another several hundred yuan (less than $100), the Shanghai Daily reported.
Mr. Jiang developed symptoms of rabies on Monday, and was rushed away in an ambulance after being restrained. He died early on Tuesday within a few hours of arriving at the hospital.
Netizens praised Mr. Jiang as a good father, and called on authorities to provide free vaccinations, and improve management of stray animals.
One blogger sympathized via Netease: “This father’s love was great, but some money really should not be saved, although I do understand, because ordinary people can only get by through scrimping and saving. It really is very sad.”
Another described the expensive treatment, after being bitten by a dog last month, and getting an immunoglobulin injection for over 2,000 yuan (over $300) “So basically I lost a month’s wages. This was at the city center for disease control. I don’t understand this sort of situation–where did our country’s medical insurance system go?”
Over 2,000 Chinese die of rabies each year, according to the World Health Organization. Wound cleansing and immunization within a few hours of contact can help to prevent the disease.