The Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has deleted a social media post where it said that a rabies infection results in mild fever, restlessness and headache.
After several people and organisations commented that the Ministry was taking a “non-serious” approach towards a fatal disease, the tweet was deleted. Sources indicated that the Ministry may hold a probe on how the video post was made from its official handle on social media platform X.
Many people reacted on X stating that the number of deaths in the country due to rabies had increased and so also the population of stray animals. They demanded that the Ministry review the Animal Birth Control rules so that the stray dog population could be managed scientifically. Ministry officials refused to comment on the matter, but maintained that rabies is a fatal disease.
The World Health Organization recently said that India accounted for 36% of the world’s rabies deaths. “The true burden of rabies in India is not fully known; although as per available information, it causes 18,000-20,000 deaths every year. About 30-60% of reported rabies cases and deaths in India occur in children under the age of 15 years as bites that occur in children often go unrecognised and unreported,” the WHO had said.
The activists who commented on the government’s social media post urged the Ministry not to take diseases such as rabies lightly and demanded effective measures to address the situation.