Mohakhali National Infectious Diseases Hospital in the capital. 13-year-old Rifatul Islam Rifat came from Mirpur-10 with his mother. Walking and digging. The dog bit the leg. Brought mother to be vaccinated against rabies.
Rifat told Jago News that he was returning home after finishing his studies from the madrasa. At that time some dogs came barking. A dog bites the knee and bleeds when it runs in fear. The locals immediately took him to a nearby hospital and the doctors advised him to take him to Mohakhali National Infectious Disease Hospital.
Media worker Sirajum Salekin. While returning home by motorcycle after office, a dog from Mohammadpur accidentally bit his leg. There are five or six bite marks on his legs.
Salekin told Jago News that he always travels by motorcycle. One evening, on the way home from work, a dog bit his leg from the road. The next day, Mohakhali went to the Infectious Disease Hospital and did not get vaccinated.
Read more>> Child dies after being bitten by a dog in the capital
Now when you see a dog on the street, you feel fear, he said, seeing a dog on the street is scary. If the dog goes on one road, try to move on an alternate road. The doctor also gives some instructions on eating and drinking after a dog bite.
Many people like Rifat and Salekin rush to the hospital every day to get anti-rabies vaccination. Although the issue of dog bites is mainly discussed, the number of cat scratches and bites is also not less. The number of people coming to get vaccinated at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Dhaka is now around one and a half lakh every year. Most of them are still coming from dog bites. Along with this, the number of people who are victims of cat scratches is also increasing.
Along with the increase in the number of people coming to get vaccinated, rabies deaths have also been on the rise for three years. Due to this, doubts have arisen whether the government’s goal of reducing water-rabies deaths to zero by 2030 will be met or not.
According to the Department of Health’s Division of Disease Control (CDC) Zoonotic Disease Control Program, an average of 40-50 patients die from rabies annually in Bangladesh. Not only humans, about 25,000 cattle are also affected by rabies every year. In 2014, 106 people died of rabies, according to the CDC.
There are basically two ways of being bitten by dogs and cats. Through stray dogs and cats on the streets and through domestic pets. However, the number of people who are victims of attacks by stray dogs is high.
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On the surface, it can be seen that Shahidul Islam Shahid came to the hospital from North Badda of the capital with his three-and-a-half-year-old child Shihab. The child Shihab was playing with the puppy in front of the house. Mother dog comes and bites Shihab’s hand.
He told Jago News, I am coming to vaccinate my son for three days today. On the first day, two vaccinations are given on both hands and one on the legs, and on the second day, three vaccinations are given. Today is the third day of two vaccinations.
Dog bites are not only injured, but there are also cases of death. A three-year-old child named Alamin (3) died after being bitten by a dog in Manda Prothom Goli area under Mugda Police Station of the capital around noon on December 14 last year. The dog bit him while playing in front of the house.
Officials of the Zoonotic Disease Control Program of the Department of Health’s Disease Control Branch (CDC) said that 253,409 people received rabies vaccination across the country in 2018. At the same time 4 lakh 68 thousand 937 dogs were brought under vaccination. And in the same year, 57 people died of water rabies.
Two lakh 53 thousand 861 people took vaccination in 2019. At the same time 5 lakh 65 thousand 159 dogs were brought under vaccination. In the same year, 57 people died of water rabies. One lakh 52 thousand 14 people got vaccinated in 2020. At the same time 3 lakh 69 thousand 408 dogs were brought under vaccination. In the same year, 26 people died of water rabies.
Two lakh 78 thousand 623 people were vaccinated in 2021. At the same time 4 lakh 13 thousand 827 dogs were brought under vaccination. 40 people died due to water rabies. 4 lakh 10 thousand 56 people were vaccinated till July 2022. At the same time more than one lakh dogs were brought under vaccination. 24 people died.
In the last 10 years, 2.792 thousand 821 people have been vaccinated against rabies. 24 lakh dogs have been brought under vaccination.
According to the Department of Health’s Division of Disease Control (CDC) Zoonotic Disease Control Program, dogs are the primary carrier of rabies. Humans and other animals can be protected by preventing rabies in dogs. It is scientifically recognized that 70 percent of dogs in any given country or region develop herd immunity after mass rabies vaccination.
Read more>> Half a hundred cows and goats died after being bitten by stray dogs
If three consecutive rounds of rabies vaccination are administered correctly in three years, the area or country can be rabies free. In the light of this concept, large-scale dog vaccination program was started from the initial period (2012-13) of the rabies eradication program in Bangladesh, which is still ongoing.
About 25 lakh 33 thousand doses of anti-rabies vaccination have been given under the first round in all districts of the country, second round in 25 districts and third round in Sirajganj, Gazipur, Manikganj, Madaripur, Nilphamari, Pabna, Gaibandha and Dhaka districts.
Dog sterilization program
On January 25, the Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapas, inaugurated the ‘dog sterilization program’. On this day 10 dogs were brought under sterilization program. 10 dogs will be sterilized every day in different areas under Dhaka South City. Infertile dogs will have their ears pierced and their necks sprayed blue (permanent dye) to facilitate identification.
Mayor Tapas said that the number of stray dogs has gradually increased due to lack of attention for a long time. He informed that there are more than 50 thousand stray dogs in South City Corporation area.
Signs and symptoms of rabies
Signs and symptoms of rabies appear in the late stages of the disease. During this time, the virus spreads to the brain, causing encephalitis, followed by death.
Rabies has an incubation period, which means that it lies dormant in a person’s body for a few days before symptoms and signs appear. Initial symptoms are headache, sore throat, fever and convulsions at the site of the bite.
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Symptoms such as excessive salivation, difficulty swallowing, fear of water due to difficulty swallowing, anxiety, confusion, insomnia and even partial paralysis and sometimes coma are indicative of rabies. The person becomes intolerant to sound, light and even cold drafts of air. Fear of air (aerophobia) occurs.
Where and how to get the vaccine
Government provides free rabies vaccination. After going to the hospital, the doctor saw the wound and gave the vaccine. It takes about a week to go to the hospital to get the vaccination. Rabies control and prevention centers are being run at district hospitals and some upazila hospitals across the country through the Department of Health.
Apart from this, modern rabies treatment programs are conducted in five Government Medical College Hospitals including Infectious Disease Hospital, Kamrangirchar 31-bed Hospital in Mahakhali of the capital.
How to start the rabies prevention program in the country
Every year, thousands of people and livestock die from rabies in Bangladesh. Bangladesh was ranked third in the world in rabies infection. Since 2010, the government has taken rabies control as an important program. A joint initiative of the Department of Health, Animal Husbandry and Local Government Department is planned to start large-scale rabies eradication program from 2011-12. In addition, a roadmap for rabies eradication was developed, which the CDC Disease Control Division of the Department of Health is working to implement.
When asked about the number of dogs, Dhaka South City Corporation Chief Health Officer Fazle Shamsul Kabir told Jago News that the number of stray dogs or stray dogs is approximately 50,000. 33 thousand 574 dogs were vaccinated against rabies through a joint initiative with the Department of Health.
When asked whether there is any plan to vaccinate the remaining dogs in the future, Fazle Shamsul Kabir said that all the remaining dogs will be brought under the vaccine.
Chief Health Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation Brigadier General Md. Jobaidur Rahman told Jago News that there are about 30,000 homeless dogs in North City Corporation. Of these, about 22,000 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies. The remaining 8,000 dogs will also be gradually vaccinated.
National Infectious Diseases Hospital supervisor Dr. Mohammad Mizanur Rahman told Jago News that three to four hundred patients are vaccinated every day from this hospital alone. The free service is provided daily from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, including public holidays. Dog bites are more common than other animals.
Hospital official Mizanur Rahman said that in case of bite or contact with dog, cat, fox, monkey and bat, that part of the body should be washed immediately with soap and water for 15 to 20 minutes, this reduces the risk of infection by 70 percent. After that, according to the advice of the doctor, the vaccine, if necessary, the tetanus vaccine should be taken. Avoid contact with dogs and cats or do not abuse them even if they come into contact. They become violent when provoked. Be kind to animals.
In the rural areas, there is still a practice of sweeping and chanting when bitten by a dog or cat. He advised to refrain from them.
Mentioning the importance of treating children with compassion towards dogs and cats from childhood and not abusing them, he said the subject could be included in the textbooks. In this, children will know about the matter from childhood.
Deputy Program Manager of the Zoonotic Disease Control Program of the Department of Health’s Disease Control Branch (CDC). SM Golam Kaiser told Jago News that rabies is 100% fatal and 100% preventable. If a person is infected with rabies he will not survive, his death is certain. In addition to free vaccinations for humans, dogs are also vaccinated for free. We vaccinate three to four lakh people every year. More than 24 lakh dogs have been vaccinated across the country.
Dr. SM Golam Kaiser also said that 99 percent of rabies is caused by dogs. As people are more aware than before, the number of people getting vaccinated has increased. However, vaccination rates are low in marginal areas.