SINGAPORE - Local 100.3 DJ Huang Wenhong was looking to catch a bite before his flight back to Singapore from Cambodia on Sunday afternoon. Instead, he had a bite taken out of him.
He was bitten by a dog, which led to him fainting around 30 minutes afterwards.
The 42-year-old was at a restaurant with his friend, local entrepreneur Nick Sim, in the outskirts of Siem Reap when, at about 1pm, he heard a loud commotion caused by a dog whining .
Both men were in Cambodia for four days for a community service project.
Huang said: "A small dog got hit by a tuk-tuk and we were all paying attention to it when I felt a bump on my leg.
"Right after that, a young girl got bitten by another dog and she had quite a big wound.
"It was only after that that I realised I had to check myself for a wound."
Huang discovered a deep bite wound the size of a 50-cent coin on his upper left thigh, close to his hip.
He didn't think he needed to check for wounds as he was wearing jeans and there was no intense pain.
He and Mr Sim, 35, then went back into the restaurant to search for online information on rabies and its symptoms.
Mr Sim said: "We were talking about how long it took for the symptoms to kick in when he suddenly said 'I'm fainting'. I thought he was joking, but I saw the whites of his eyes and started to panic.
"His arms and legs went stiff and he fell to the ground. I shouted for help, but no one there could understand me."
Huang said his memories after re-entering the restaurant are hazy.
"I can only recall being half-conscious. I can remember flashes of someone applying medicated oil on my nose and forehead," he said.
Some Chinese nationals who overheard them tried to call an ambulance, but were unsuccessful.
Said Mr Sim: "I was very scared at what happened and had to call a tuk-tuk to take him to the hospital. Luckily, he woke up in the restaurant."
Huang was treated at a China Friendship Hospital, where he received one anti-rabies vaccination injection and another tetanus jab.
"The doctor told us we did not have to cancel our flight, but he asked us to seek medical advice from doctors in Singapore," said Mr Sim.
"We are thankful to the Singapore embassy in Cambodia. They made arrangements with SilkAir so Wenhong could sit in the first row of the cabin.
"I was worried as I did not know what could happen next, but we had prescribed medicine from the doctor as backup."
Upon his return to Singapore, Huang received a rabies immunoglobulin injection at the Travellers' Health & Vaccination Clinic at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Infectious diseases physician Leong Hoe Nam told The New Paper that Huang could not have fainted from rabies.
He said: "It would take time, days or years for the incubation and for it to develop into full-blown rabies.
"It could have been the shock, anxiety or stress depending on the time frame after the bite."
Rabies is a viral infection and is most commonly transmitted from the bite of an animal with rabies.
Associate Professor Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at the Division of Infectious Diseases in National University Hospital, said there is no cure for rabies and one could die within weeks after contracting it.
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