SRINAGAR: A staggering 8,652 bite victims, primarily from dog bites, sought treatment at the Anti-Rabies Clinic at Srinagar’s Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) Hospital in the past year, officials said.

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They stated that the prevalence of dogs across the valley has contributed to human-dog conflicts, leading to a surge in cases of dog bites in the region.

An official from the Anti-Rabies Clinic SMHS informed the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that from April 01, 2023, to March 31, 2024, a total of 8,652 bite cases were recorded, with the majority originating from Srinagar.

This figure of 8,652 cases marks the highest recorded in the past decade, underscoring the urgent need to address the issue immediately, he said.

Providing a breakdown, the official said that 377 cases were reported in April 2023, 710 in May, 847 in June, 751 in July, 733 in August, 790 in September, 737 in October, 640 in November, 642 in December, 650 in January 2024, 668 in February, and 1,107 in March.

Out of the 8,652 cases, 6,519 were from Srinagar, 302 from Budgam, 242 from Baramulla, 186 from Kupwara, 251 from Bandipora, 152 from Ganderbal, 228 from Pulwama, 46 from Shopian, 40 from Kulgam, 72 from Anantnag, and 614 from outside areas, he noted.

Reviewing the yearly data on bite cases, the official said that from April 2015 to March 2016, 7,061 bite cases were reported to ARC SMHS, followed by 5,832 cases from April 2016 to March 2017, 6,802 from April 2017 to March 2018, 6,397 from April 2018 to March 2019, 6,139 from April 2019 to March 2020, 4,808 from April 2020 to March 2021, 5,469 from April 2021 to March 2022, 6,875 from April 2022 to March 2023, and 8,652 cases recorded till the present date.

He added that approximately 58,000 cases have been registered in the Anti-Rabies Clinic from April 2015 to March 2024.

In Kashmir, dog bites pose a serious public health concern, with thousands of people becoming victims of animal bites, particularly dog bites, and some developing rabies.

Rabies is a universally fatal viral disease, resulting in approximately 59,000 human deaths annually worldwide, with 95 percent of cases occurring in Africa and Asia—(KNO)

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