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Public urged to report suspected cases of rabies in animals



Members of the public have been urged to report any suspected cases of rabies in animals during the current lockdown period. With the current lockdown in force, routine vaccination drives undertaken by Mission Rabies have been put on hold. However, the organisation has said a dedicated emergency hotline has been setup to respond to any suspected cases of rabies in the state.

Mission Rabies that has been working with the state government to protect the state from the spread of rabies has asked the public to report any animal showing possible signs of rabies to their emergency rabies hotline.

Dr Praveen Mathapati, the charity’s Rabies Surveillance Manager in Goa explains, “It is essential that we maintain Goa’s record. We are proud that not a single person died from rabies over the past two years. The state’s dog vaccination scheme, which routinely vaccinates one lakh dogs per year, has not only eliminated human deaths from this disease but also seen a dramatic decline in dog cases. Routine vaccination needs to be halted during the coronavirus lockdown, but Mission Rabies has an expert team on call seven days a week to safely deal with any suspected case of animals with rabies.”

Goans have been asked to contact the Mission Rabies emergency hotline 7744029586 if they see any animals showing possible signs of rabies such as aggression, acting confused or foaming at the mouth.

“Throughout the whole of 2019 there were no canine rabies cases outside of Pernem, but since the lockdown we have responded to cases in Bardez and Bicholim. We need Goans to make us aware as soon as they see rabid dogs and help stop rabies returning to areas of the state where the disease has not been seen in years,” said Dr Mathapati.

“As soon as the coronavirus situation allows, our vaccination teams will be doubling their efforts to make up for lost time during the lockdown,” said Julie Corfmat, Mission Rabies’ Goa Project Manager.

The organisation has also reminded people not to approach any animal acting unusually and if a dog bites you, to wash the wound with soap and water for 15 minutes before consulting a doctor to receive the anti-rabies injections.

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