Increasing rabies; decreasing vaccines

City Health

Karnataka ranks second in terms of rabies in India.

Surbhi Shah

The shortage of rabies vaccine is contributing to the increasing number of rabies cases in Karnataka.

Data released by the National Health Profile 2019 shows that in India, out of 110 cases of reported rabies, there are 110 deaths, making it a 100 per cent fatality rate disease.

“Daily we get around 15 cases if a dog bites and every month we diagnose two to three cases of rabies,” said Dr Navya, Victoria Hospital.

In 2017, in Karnataka, a total of 15 cases of rabies were reported and in 2018 to present, 23 cases have been reported.

Dr Shishikumar, Joint Director, BBMP, told the Softcopy, “We are working on the policies related to dog-bites and rabies. It has been a problem since last year. The numbers of dog-bite cases are increasing and there is shortage of vaccines in Bangalore.”

As per the Karnataka State Drugs Logistics and Warehousing Society, The Bengaluru Urban warehouse has zero stock of rabies immunoglobin and rabies vaccine injection left.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning, disease transmitted from animals to humans, as per World Health Organisation (WHO). It is caused by the rabies virus. Domestic dogs are the most common transmitters of the virus and most of the deaths are caused by dog-transmitted rabies.

Dr Mohankumar, veterinary, said, “Dogs are the main mediators of rabies virus. They need proper vaccination just like humans do. The only way to prevent rabies is vaccination.”

Eight out of 30 districts in Karnataka have more than 50 rabies immunoglobin injections in stock but there are no stocks of Rabies vaccine injection in the state.