The Health Ministry and the IDF have been searching for a soldier who may have been exposed to rabies and may consequently have been infected by the deadly virus.
According to the IDF, a soldier, whose identity has yet to be determined, dropped off a wounded black puppy on August 28 at a veterinary clinic in the Golan Heights town of Katzrin, then presumably returned to an army base in the area. The puppy was later found to have contracted rabies.
Following the diagnosis, the Health Ministry immediately notified the IDF, requesting that the army track down the soldier, who authorities believe may be in need of critical treatment.
Once the rabies virus penetrates a subject’s body, he or she must be vaccinated as soon as possible before the virus can make its way to the nervous system. If the subject is not vaccinated in time symptoms will begin to develop, ultimately leading to the subject’s death, as there is currently no effective treatment for the disease once it has spread.
As of Monday, authorities said, the soldier had yet to be located.
In 1996, an IDF soldier died of rabies after he was bitten in his sleep by an infected wild animal.
The Health Ministry urged anyone who may have been in contact with the puppy to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. The ministry further advised individuals who had been in contact with another rabid canine, a large German shepherd belonging to a family in the northern town of Sha’al, to seek immediate assistance as well.