A whopping 5,629 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 one 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 ARC SMHS said that from 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022, as many as 5,629 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS and most of them were from Srinagar.
Giving details, he said that 259 cases were reported in April 2021, 360 in May, 489 in June, 652 in July, 450 in August, 576 in September, 520 in October, 470 in November, 408 in December, 454 in January 2022, 394 in February and 597 in March.
Among the 5,629 cases, 4,264 were from Srinagar, 230 from Budgam, 143 from Baramulla, 58 from Kupwara, 184 from Bandipora, 299 from Ganderbal, 186 from Pulwama, 58 from Shopian, 101 from Kulgam, 30 from Anantnag and 76 from outside, he said.
Giving yearly data of bite cases, he said that in year 2009-10, 3,711 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS, followed by 4,515 in 2010-11; 4,154 in 2011-12; 4,489 in 2012-13; 6,041 in 2013-14; 4,917 in 2014-15; 7,324 in 2015-16; 6,548 in 2016-17; 6,802 in 2017-18; 6,399 in 2018-19; 6,984 in 2019-20; and 4,149 in 2020-21.
In the last one decade, a total of 59,282 cases of bite have been reported to ARC SMHS.
In Kashmir, 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)