Rabies can be fatal, but is 100% preventable: Expert

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 18:14 IST

The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised a continued medical education project (CME) on community medicine here on Sunday.

On this occasion, doctors discussed about rabies prevention.Dr Mahesh Satija from Dayananda Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) was the chief guest. He spoke on "rabies-disease and its prevention", and discussed about the myths associated with it and incomplete vaccination.

Dr Rajesh Thapar, president, NIMA Ludhiana, welcomed the guest and delegates. Dr Satija in his talk said that rabies is 100% fatal but 100% preventable. "Around 17.4 million animal bites are reported in India annually and more than 20,000 deaths occur due to it. Dog bites contribute 96% of the total bite incidents," he added.

"Post exposure, prophylaxis should be done as early as possible. People usually think that a single injection is sufficient in case of dog bite. Even some people stop vaccination after third dose, if the dog is alive. This notion is too wrong," said Dr Satija, adding after five injections, schedule could shift to pre-exposure one, thus adding 28-day dose to already completed 0, 3, 7 day schedule.

Dr Surinder Gupta, general secretary, NIMA, said stray dog bite is a common phenomenon but a serious health concern. "A person has to be inoculated with costlier and multiple rabies vaccine injections. Selection of the vaccine strain, quality, proper storage and cold chain maintenance are important to get the required antibodies response," he added.

Gupta said that a physician needed to remain updated regarding rabies and must be in a position to allay patients' apprehensions and quarries. Otherwise person with a dog-bite might end up with incomplete and ineffective vaccination.

More than 100 delegates led by Dr Rajesh Thapar, Dr Satinder Kakar, Dr Ashok Verma, Dr PP Singh, Dr Ranbir Singh, Dr Raj Garg, Dr GS Khangura, Dr Parveen Bhalla and Dr Jagdev S Kehal were present.

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