The Government Fever Hospital in Hyderabad where most dog bite cases in the city are reported has started seeing a surge in dog bite cases with almost 100 cases being reported in a day.
The Professor of medicine at the Government Fever hospital, Dr Kondal Reddy informed that dogs will be more furious during this season and the hospital is receiving around 90 to 110 cases each day.
The doctor said, “In regard to the increasing number of dog bites in our area the first thing is that prevention is better than cure. Actually, there is no cure for rabies. It has 100 per cent mortality. Whatever may be the case, we should follow appropriate steps to escape from dog bites. If there are more street dogs, they should be notified to the authorities for sterilization and also appropriate water facilities have to be provided for them. Mostly during the summer months, the dogs will be in a more furious state causing unnecessary bites to passerby people including children. People especially children should stay away from a group of street dogs.”
The doctor further spoke about the steps to be taken once a dog bite happens.
He said, “Dog bite injuries are mainly of three types. Grade 1 is a slight scratch, Grade 2 is a deeper injury and Grade 3 is where underlying muscles are exposed. Whether it is a domestic dog bite or a street dog bite, earlier we used to observe the animal whether it is alive or dead for a period of 10 days. However, now we are giving immunization for most dog bite cases higher than Grade 2. When a dog bite happens, immediately wash the wound under running tap water for a period of 10 to 15 minutes using soap or detergent. This will prevent rabies from occurring up to 80 per cent. This is a very important step that we can do at home. Simply putting a bandage on a dog bite wound is not correct. After this, the patient should be taken to the nearby hospital.”
“Here at our hospital, the government has supplied free RIG (Rabies Immunoglobulin) and also monoclonal antibodies. We are also administering active immunization here during the night time and during the daytime. We have also sent the cases to IPM for active immunization. There is no way to escape from death, once rabies has occurred in a person. Rabies can occur by the bite of a dog, domestic cat, wild cat or monkey. Rabies vaccine should definitely be administered if a person is bitten by any of these animals. Here we give the human monoclonal antibody immunoglobulin that is Rabishield immediately to patients based on their body weight. Later we will give active immunization on the following days that is 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28, a minimum of five doses. In case a second bite occurs in this time period, we still have to follow the schedule. During the summer months, the dogs will be more furious. The number of cases in our hospital is ranging from 90 to 110 now.”
A patient named Chinna, who came for dog bite treatment, said, “I have come to the hospital after a street dog had bitten me. I took a total of four injections here. There have also given me a schedule for further injections.”
Notably, the recent dog bite incident in Amberpet, Hyderabad where a small boy died from a dog bite had shaken the conscience of the people of Hyderabad.