Published May 24, 2012
Seven children have died from rabies in Peru over the past two months after being bitten by bats, an official said Wednesday.
The children, aged 11 months to 14, hailed from a remote region about 721 miles (1,160km) southeast of the capital Lima, Health Ministry official Ana Maria Navarro said.
"According to the symptoms and medical reports, it appears the seven indigenous children died of rabies," she said.
Navarro distanced herself from a lawmaker who suggested the deaths, which occurred between April 13 and May 20, were caused by water contaminated by leaking liquid gas.
To prevent further fatalities, vaccination teams have been rushed to the affected Camana community of 720 people that can only be reached by river.
In February 2011, at least six children in another region of the Amazon, in Peru's northeast, died of rabies carried by bats.