Itanagar Capital Complex reports 117 cases of dog bites in one week; people urged to remain alert

By Manoj Singh

NAHARLAGUN, May 11: The surge in dog bite cases in the Itanagar Capital Complex (ICC) has become a serious concern for the city dwellers as 117 cases of dog bites have been so far reported in the capital city within a week, informed Itanagar Capital District Medical Officer Dr KIpa Tuglik.

Speaking to the media, Dr Tuglik said, “It is an alarming situation, but the people should not panic. However, we should remain alert so as to save ourselves from such stray dogs and other aggressive animals which can harm us or our children on the streets.”

“From May 8, we have observed in our integrated health information platform (portal) a sudden rise of cases in dog bites. From May 1 to 8, a total of 117 dog bite cases have been reported, out of which 34 cases have been reported at TRIHMS in a single day and 11 people were victimized by a single white colour dog at Naharlagun.  The capital surveillance team has identified the said dog and it has been found that the particular dog had bitten without any provocation. All the victims were given treatment in the Anti Rabies Clinic at TRIHMS,” he said.

In Naharlagun itself, 74 cases have been reported.

The areas near the public school at Lekhi, near Takar Complex and stadium, Medical Colony, Kankar Nallah, A Sector, near youth hostel, near Dominos, near Manju Bakery, Nigal Colony, near Koris, Prem Nagar, near the police station and Polo Colony are high risk areas in Naharlagun township, he said.

Maximum numbers of dog bites have been reported from the dwellers of Model village-I & II with 12 cases and G-Extension with 10 cases, he informed.

In Itanagar, 32 cases of dog bites have been reported, out of which 11 cases of other animals’ bites have been reported within one week. The high risk areas in Itanagar are B Sector, Lower Vivek Vihar, Chandan Nagar, Chimpu area, Division-IV, he said.

“We have submitted the report to the capital administration for issuing an executive order and advisory. The team of district surveillance officers has visited the places of occurrences and collected the information. The team has so far contacted 25 victims for post-exposure to the anti-Rabies treatment regimen,” the Capital DMO said.

The DMO said they have recommended Anti Rabies Vaccine (ARV) and immunization to be made available in the Anti Rabies Clinic at TRIHMS. They have recommended mass vaccination drives for pets/stray dogs with the help of the Veterinary, Animal Husbandry & Dairy Development department and Itanagar Municipal Corporation in the high risk areas of the twin capital city. “Capture of stray dogs and other potentially rabid animals by IMC or rescue team and take them away to shelter home and to provide treatment and vaccination, etc. have also been recommended,” added Capital DMO Dr. Tuglik.

The Deputy Director of AH, DD & Veterinary and the president of Arunachal Pradesh Veterinary Council, Dr. Karbom Basar said, “We are equally concerned over the alarming rise of dog bites in the capital complex. We have to remain alert and take care of our pet animals under our custody and it’s high time to take precautionary measures or else such incidents may continue. It is a serious issue and everyone has to work together.”

“We have provided vaccines recently on requisitions. Even on the World Veterinary Day, we did free vaccination and a large number of pet owners vaccinated their pets. But the recent surge in dog bites is a matter of serious concern. We should treat the pet animals as part of the family and have to take care of their health issues including de-worming. We should also ensure that our pet animals are not a danger for our family members, neighbours and others who visit our home.  The pet animals’ hygiene is another matter so that they do not attract any other disease and bring home such diseases and spread among the family members,” he said.

Vaccination is still continuing and it is free of cost. It can be possible in the Veterinary Hospital at Naharlagun. The facility is also available at Ganga village, Doimukh and any other parts of the State, he informed.

“In case the stray animals are brought to the animal shelter home, the medical officer can provide medical aid and treatment free of cost in such period but this is high time that we all have to take precautionary measures to overcome from such a menace,” added AH, Vety & DR Deputy Director Dr. Basar.

Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) Commissioner Techu Aran also said, “It is a matter of concern, but we can overcome it if the denizens take precautionary measures for the time being. We take several measures from time to time. The IMC has an acute shortage of manpower. There is also a lack of equipment with the IMC to evict such stray animals. In case we carry out eviction drives we need a shelter home for such animals and we don’t have a proper place for giving shelter to such stray animals in the capital complex.”

Pet animals are also a part of the family as many people are animal lovers who use to keep such animals in their homes, but there should be a proper facility to keep them, the IMC Commissioner said. He made an appeal to the city dwellers to take precautionary measures and keep their pet animals at a safe place so that it does not become a threat to other people. He also urged the people to remain careful while walking in high risk areas.

Meanwhile, Capital Deputy Commissioner Shweta Nagarkoti Mehta in an advisory and executive order said “incidents of dog bite cases in twin capital city are in steep surge over the past one week and as per report, 117 cases have been reported. It has been observed that there are a large number of unvaccinated stray dogs in the entire jurisdiction. The pet owners are to ensure that their pets are administered with the requisite vaccination and confine their aggressive animals and dogs safely within 15 days, otherwise an eviction drive will be carried out.”The pet owners should ensure that their pets are always on leash when they go outside and are not left open in public places creating nuisance, added the Capital DC.

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