Pulse polio-like free vaccination drive from March; Animal Husbandry Department begins preparations
Mysore/Mysuru: The Animal Husbandry Department has launched a mission to make Mysuru rabies-free after getting many complaints of dog attacks and rabies. It will launch a pulse polio eradication-like free vaccination drive in March, covering the entire district and the city limits.
Over one lakh doses of vaccination are required in Mysuru and as part of the programme, even street dogs, dogs owned as pets and those animals that have been bitten by dogs will be vaccinated, Deputy Director of Animal Husbandry Department Dr. B.N. Shadaksharamurthy told Star of Mysore.
Last year, Department carried out a vaccination campaign and 12,500 doses were administered. “At this point in time, we have over 3,000 doses and as part of the free vaccination drive, over one lakh doses are required. We have begun preparations for the campaign and are in talks with Lions Club, Rotary Club and other voluntary organisations and educational institutions for the success of drive,” he added.
Dr. Shadakshara Murthy said that the free rabies vaccine doses will be made available at all government veterinary hospitals and all those private clinics that are interested in the programme. “We will begin the programme with periodic vaccination camps like on second and fourth Saturdays and other designated days. We will also involve Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) dog care agencies, animal rescuers and NGOs,” he added.
Dog bites, as opposed to bites from monkeys or bats, cause almost all cases of rabies in India. Many are unaware that it is vital to treat a dog bite immediately. Even if they are aware of this, they often get one or two rabies shots and fail to return for the remainder.
If a rabies-affected dog bites other animals and humans, the rabies virus enters the body and causes rabies. Zollinim rabies virus from an infected animal can spread to other animals. Eliminating rabies requires vaccinating and sterilising the stray dog population, Dr. Shadakshara Murthy noted.
There are three pillars to any awareness drive — surveillance, vaccination, and awareness. The vaccination programme will be implemented across the district in collaboration with each gram panchayat, taluk panchayat, municipality and municipal council. “It is important to catch the street dogs and give them all the required vaccines so that people need not have to worry about street dogs,” he added.