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What to do if a dog bites you

JPMC’s chief breaks down the steps to follow

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 13, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 13, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago

Dog bite cases are on the rise and more than 10,000 people have been affected by rabies this year.

Dr Seemin Jamali, the head of one of the biggest hospitals in Karachi, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said that the first thing to do after a dog bite is to wash the wound with soap and water.

The next most important step is to visit a hospital and get an anti-rabies shot.

“A dog bite does not mean that you have been bitten by a dog and you get yourself vaccinated once,” Dr Jamali said on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Wednesday. “You have to get vaccinated four times and an immunoglobulin vaccine also has to be administered.”

It is very important that you get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible because untreated rabies is 100% fatal.

Anti-rabies vaccines

In case you or someone you know gets bitten by a dog, you can rush to JPMC as they are always stocked with anti-rabies vaccines.

“Recently, 21 people in Nazimabad were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital after they were bitten by a dog,” Dr Jamali said. “The hospital did not have anti-rabies vaccines, so these people were sent to Jinnah and we immunised all of them.”

The doctor explained that although the hospital did have vaccines at the moment, it might face a shortage in the future because of the rise in cases.

“We are getting vaccines imported from India but they will last for a short duration. The vaccines that were coming from China haven’t been tried and tested and we have never used them, which is why we are quite reluctant to use that vaccine.”

Plans to reduce dog bites

The doctor said the only way to control rabies was by controlling the dog population.

“Like any other country, the procedure to control the dog population is by neutering them,” she said. “But this is a long-term plan. To instantly control the dog population, the government has three options.

Shift these dogs to a shelter homes, export them out of the country or just put them down.”

Symptoms

Although, the symptoms of rabies don’t show up right away, the first sign is fever and fatigue.

You would feel pain and irritability near your wound which would intensify with time. Other severe symptoms include insomnia, hydrophobia (fear of water), anxiety, confusions, convulsions and salivating.

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