Open garbage dumps and dog bites are major public health problems in the Kashmir region. In Srinagar city, there are more than 91,000 dogs, or about one dog for every 12 citizens. The mounting street dog population is leading to increasing fright in the city due to the fear of rabies. Although treatable, rabies can be deadly without access to vaccines and treatment. Unfortunately, Kashmir is experiencing a shortage of the anti-rabies vaccine. More than 80,000 dog bites and 20 deaths due to rabies were reported in the Kashmir valley in the period 2008–2012. We conducted our study of dog bites in Srinagar, which has a large stray dog population, perhaps due to mismanagement of garbage. We obtained our data from Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital. We found that most dog bite victims were males aged 30–40 years presenting with category 3 bites to the legs. The majority of victims were bitten in the evening and reported to the hospital the same day. Most victims received immunoglobin treatment. We suggest that proper garbage control can help to curb the stray dog population in the area and thus reduce the incidence of rabies.
Part of the book: Rabies Virus at the Beginning of 21st Century