Dog Bite Cases On The Rise In Maharashtra, Mumbai Tops List With 41,828 in 2023

Dog Bite Cases On The Rise In Maharashtra, Mumbai Tops List With 41,828 in 2023

The actual figure of dog bite cases could be higher as private hospitals, which treat a large number of such patients, often don’t report them to the BMC.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Tuesday, July 11, 2023, 12:02 AM IST
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Stray Dog/ Representative pic

From January till June, Maharashtra officially reported 3,89,065 dog bite cases. At 41,828, Mumbai has the highest share followed by Thane (36,060), Palghar (13,301) and Raigad (13,598) districts.

The state tallied 17 fatalities in the same period. However, the actual figure of dog bite cases could be higher as private hospitals, which treat a large number of such patients, often don’t report them to the civic body.

Rise in Attacks on Youngsters, Women, and Late-Night Riders

A senior official from the civic health department conceded that the vast majority of such incidents go unreported. There has been an uptick in reports of attacks by strays all around the state as well as in Mumbai, particularly on youngsters, women and late-night riders.

He said there are several reasons for the surge in dog bite cases. Canines lacking food or water, suffering from health issues and fearing humans can resort to attacks.

Concerns over Municipal Inaction and Dog Fights

As per the data, dog bite cases in Mumbai rose significantly after Covid, with 78,756 cases in 2022 compared to 74,279 cases in 2019. Between 2018 and 2022, the city had reported 3.54 lakh cases. Despite the jump in cases, sterilisation is tailing far behind. Currently, there are six NGOs conducting sterilisation and vaccination procedures.

“As animal lovers feed dogs, the packs gather at specific locations, leading to fights. As a result, citizens passing by often get caught in dog fights. Despite several complaints, the municipality has not taken any action,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.

Immediate First Aid Measures for Dog Bites

According to the civic body, the number of dog bite cases has risen and there have also been instances of fatalities. It is important for people to avoid provoking dogs.

If bitten, they should immediately seek medical assistance at civic dispensaries where anti-rabies vaccines are available. The doctor will assess the severity of the injury and determine the appropriate vaccine dosage. It is crucial not to overlook or disregard the need for vaccination.

State Surveillance Officer Dr Kamlapurkar Babita said, “When a dog bites, immediately wash the wound under running tap water for a period of 10-15 minutes using a soap or detergent. This will curb 80 per cent chances of rabies.”

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