Thiruvananthapuram: Superstition claimed the life of an 8-year-old boy at Vembayam on the outskirts of the city on Friday. Though he showed symptoms of rabies infection, his parents allegedly took him to a practitioner of black magic to treat him. The boy, Abhishek, 8, is the second son of Manikuttam, a daily wage worker, and Reena of Thalekkunnu Pinarum Kuzhi house, Vembayam. He was a student of Thalayil Lower Primary school.
He had started showing symptoms like reluctance to drink water and being scared of light three days ago. The parents thought he was affected by some spirit and took him to a quack to exorcise it.
However, as he continued to show restlessness and discomfort by sticking out his tongue, they took him to Nedumangadu taluk hospital.
The doctor prescribed a blood test, but the parents again took him to the black magician. The boy was taken to Kanyakulangara government hospital after bubbles appeared in his mouth on Thursday. The doctor there referred him to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. However, as they could not get a vehicle, they brought the child back to their house. When his condition worsened, he was again rushed to Kanyakulangara hospital, where he died around 3 a.m. on Friday.
The doctors confirmed it to be a case of rabies infection, said sources.
The parents are clueless how he was infected. The boy used to mingle with dogs, and a month ago a street dog had died on the premises of his house. However, none in the area showed any symptoms of rabies infection.
Following the boy's death, a medical team led by the district medical officer reached the place and gave anti-rabies vaccination to 15 people in the area.