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24 May 2019, Edition - 1410, Friday

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Coimbatore

Tension mounts as Coimbatore remains under grip of stray dog menace

Keerthana Ramesh

COIMBATORE: Tension grows in the city as incidents of dog bites that can cause spread of the deadly rabies virus that can attack the nervous system. The Government Hospital administration has claimed that more than 1 lakh people have been affected by dog bite in the last six years. Those affected by dog bites are treated by vaccination.

The city hospital witnessed only two cases of rabies inflammation in the past six months. “Stray dog numbers are on the rise. Those who get dog bites are advised to go to the nearest hospital. The symptoms for rabies begin with body pain and fever, pricking, burning or tingling sensation at the infected area. These symptoms may progress to become fatal inflammation in the brain and spinal cord,” say doctors.

The ARV Medical Officer at the City Medical College told The Covai Post: “Many people have no knowledge about this disease. So they ignore the symptoms and thus it leads to severe problems.”

When The Covai Post took an initiative to research about this and the reason behind the spread of in-numerable stray dogs that can cause rabies, the ARV Medical Officer said, “There are no ways to cure the rabies disease. Once afflicted, the patient cannot be cured. Treatment is there only in the case of dog bites. There are two types of immunization – active and passive.”

“When the person gets a dog bite, the immediate first aid is cleaning the infected area with normal soap on running water and the wound should not be shuttered by band aid or any other cloth. The person should be given tetanus injection and ARV immunization,” he added.

It has been noticed that sterilisation of stray dogs was not processed by the authorities properly. Residents near the sterilisation centre at Ukkadam say, “No one is there and the place will always be closed.”

CPI (ML) municipal secretary M S Vel Murugan says, “The food for stray dogs is the waste of broiler chicken and other animal waste that disposed around places like Podanur, Vellaikinaru and Vellalur etc. This leads to spread of poisonous content into the street dogs that eat such waste. These stray dogs are not properly sterilised and bite innocent humans. In this way rabies disease spreads around the city.”

Most of the incidents happen only because of the fear of being chased by street dogs. The growing number of street dogs and lack of facilities to treat rabies are because of the District Municipal Corporation authorities. They should be held responsible for rising stray dog numbers and spread of rabies, people say.

“Only through proper sterilisation and contraception of stray dogs can there be a solution to this problem,” said Murugan.

The contract for contraception of stray dogs has remained pending since March last year, people pointed out.

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