Kashmir reports 6,875 dog bites in last 12 months

A woman walks amid being surrounded by stray dogs in city centre's Mandir Bagh area.  [Representational Image]
A woman walks amid being surrounded by stray dogs in city centre's Mandir Bagh area. [Representational Image] File/ GK

Srinagar: As many as 6,875 bite victims, mostly of dog bites, were reported to the Anti-Rabies Clinic at Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) hospital in the last year

The presence of dogs on every nook and corner has led to man-dog confrontation due to which the number of cases of dog bites has increased in the region, doctors say.

An official from the anti-rabies clinic SMHS told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that from 1st April 2022 till 3Ist March 2023, as many as 6,875 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS and most of them were from Srinagar.

Giving details, he said that among animal bites in last year 4,912 animal bite cases were reported from Srinagar at ARC SMHS, 317 from Budgam, 201 from Baramulla, 134 from Kupwara, 168 from Bandipora, 301 from Ganderbal, 221 from Pulwama, 138 from Shopian, 147 from Kulgam, 85 from Anantnag and 231 from other areas.

Giving yearly data of bite cases, the official said that from April 1 2015 to March 2016, 7, 061 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS, followed by 5,832 cases from April 2016 to March 2017, 6,802 cases from April 2017 to March 2018, 6,397 cases from April 2018 to March 2019, 6139 cases from April 2019 to March 2020, 4,808 from April 2020 to March 2021, 5,469 from April 2021 to March 2022 and 6,785 from April 2022 to March 2023.

He said that 49,383 cases have been registered in Anti rabies clinic from April 2015 to March 2023. In Kashmir, a dog bite is an important public health problem. Thousands of people become victims of animal bites, especially dog bites, and some of them develop rabies.

Rabies is an invariably fatal viral disease resulting in approximately 59,000 human deaths per year globally, with 95% of cases occurring in Africa and Asia.

The only way to prevent a rabies death is vaccination of an animal bite victim. In Kashmir, the burden and characteristics of dog bites are not routinely captured by the health system in place—(KNO)

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