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Multi-pronged strategy to make Tirupati rabies-free

Multi-pronged strategy to make Tirupati rabies-free
Highlights

To make pilgrim city free from rabies by 2020, the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati MCT and Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University SVVU would jointly...

Tirupati: To make pilgrim city free from rabies by 2020, the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) and Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU) would jointly implement a multi-pronged strategy in Tirupati. In this regard, an MoU was signed by MCT and SVVU for implementation of vaccination drive to stray dogs for three years.

According to survey reports of SVVU students, there are about 6,656 stray dogs in the city in which only 5 per cent were vaccinated by the MCT with the support of a private veterinary NGO in the last five years.

Due to lack of funding support, the MCT officials neglected to free residents of stray dog menace. The SVVU decided to take technical support from the Rabies Diagnostic Laboratory, Bengaluru for vaccination of stray dogs. The MCT and SVVU would collect blood samples of 20 per cent stray dogs by using sero-surveillance in 2018. In 2019, revaccination of all previously vaccinated stray dogs would be carried out.

In 2020, the above processes would be continued for vaccinating stray dogs. Later, clinical samples from suspected cases of rabies would be submitted to laboratories at SVVU and Rabies Diagnostic Laboratory in Bengaluru. Likewise, doctors of the Ruia Government Hospital would be involved in providing the details of dog bite cases to officials concerned for tracking the disease on regular basis. As on now, the city witnessing 50 to 100 stray dog bite incidents every day.

Speaking to The Hans India, SVVU Project Director (Extension) D Srinivasulu said microchip would be inserted into stray dogs once they are vaccinated. The data generated from microchips would be used for analysis, compilation of results and generating reports to know the status of stray dogs.

The MCT would be involved in catching, sterilisation, vaccination and collection of blood samples from stray dogs, he added. He further stated BVSc final year students and research scholars would be involved in creating awareness about zoonoses disease among the schoolchildren in rural and urban areas. The varsity would use mobile education vans from this year onwards for launching state-wide campaign for prevention of zoonoses disease.

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