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Stray dogs are a growing threat to public health

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 13 July 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:66
  1. Sanjay Kumar
  1. New Delhi

    Almost all cases of rabies in India are due to stray dogs, which act as a reservoir for the disease, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, based in Delhi. The number of bites remain high, yet legal pressure from animal rights groups is thwarting attempts to tackle the problem.

    Delhi alone is believed to have some 250 000 stray dogs, which are multiplying, intimidating, creating a nuisance, and biting people—infecting some with rabies. The number nationwide is estimated at around 25-8 million, according to the institute, although there has not been a count. Almost all the dogs are unvaccinated against rabies.

    When a night guard was bitten by a suspected rabid dog …

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