District Medical and Health Officer T. Venkataramana Reddy said that instructions were given to PHCs to maintain ARV stocks.

These figures may create panic among the people, but it is a fact that more than 1,000 dog bite cases were being reported in government hospitals every month in Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district.

Officials say that the Municipal and Medical and Health Departments are taking measures to check the dog population and administer anti-rabies vaccine (ARV) for dog bite victims. However, the public are blaming the authorities for failing to tackle the menace. Unconfirmed reports say that there are more than 10,000 dogs in Nellore city and some thousands of street dogs are creating panic in Gudur, Kavali, Sulluripeta and Venkatagiri municipalities in the district.

According to Medical and Health Department officials, 1,373 dog bite cases were reported in DSR Government Hospital, Nellore; 909 in Gudur and 1,453 cases in Kavali Area Hospitals, while 1,330 dog bite cases were reported in PHCs in the district from January to May this year.

Speaking to The Hindu, District Coordinator of Hospital Services (DCHS) P. Nirmala said that about 1,875.5 doses of ARV was kept ready in Nellore, Kavali and Gudur hospitals. Instructions were given to purchase vaccine immediately from private medical stores in case of emergency. If the patient suffers category-3 wounds (severe/multiple wounds), Human Rabies Immunoglobulin (HRIG) should be given in the depth and around the wounds to kill the virus, said Dr. Nirmala.

Vaccine in PHCs

District Medical and Health Officer T. Venkataramana Reddy said that instructions were given to the primary health centres (PHCs) to maintain ARV stocks in all PHCs and community health centres (CHCs) with continuous cold chain. Nearly, 17,500 vials of vaccine were administered uninterruptedly last year.

A total of 2,150 vials of ARV were kept ready in PHCs and CHCs . Doctors were advised to arrange boards mentioning that ‘Vaccine for dog bite is available', in front of all government hospitals and administer ARV to all dot bite patients immediately, said the DM&HO.

When contacted, Collector B. Sreedhar said that instructions were given to the municipal officials to take up surgeries through NGOs for street dogs, to prevent the multiplication dog population in the district. “In many cases the patients are not taking the full dose of anti-rabies vaccine and are stopping after taking one or two doses due to lack of awareness. But, the condition of the patient is deteriorating after a few days,” said Mr. Sreedhar and appealed to the dog bite patients to administer the full dose of vaccine.

Meanwhile, public are alleging that some private hospital managements are collecting huge amounts for giving ARV to the patients in the district.