|posted: 8/18/2017 at 6:58:18 AM ET|
Fifteen children and teenagers from a small rural town in Morocco have been treated for rabies after reportedly gang raping an infected donkey.
The youngsters - aged seven to 15 - were rushed to hospital after discovering the animal had the disease, according to local reports.
The youths, from a small tribal group, spent a week at the Mechraa Belksiri Hospital, while the donkey was killed to prevent further people being infected, reports Al-Akhbar newspaper.
The families of the fifteen young people are said to have reacted in "distress and horror" after being mocked throughout the small town in the north-western region of Gharb-Chrarda-Béni Hssen.
Al-Akhbar reports that local authorities are searching for anyone else who may have had similar contact with the animal.
The number of infections is feared to be much higher, as some families reportedly took their children to hospitals outside the region to avoid humiliation.
Parents in the small town are also secretly having their children vaccinated in case they had approached the animal, reports claim.
Rabies is almost always fatal as soon as symptoms show, but treatment before this happens is very effective, according to NHS Choices.
The disease attacks the brain and nerves and is usually caught from the bite or scratch of an infected animal, most often a dog.
It is found throughout the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and Central and South America - but very rarely in the UK in a small number of wild bats.
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