Inhabitants of a small town near MP’s Gwalior were seen rushing to a hospital on Thursday, clamoring for rabies vaccine upon hearing the news of the death of a buffalo from a dog bite.
People in ones, twos and then scores rushed to get vaccinated at the Dabra Health centre, some 45km from Gwalior after having consumed a curd made from the milk of the deceased buffalo.
Upon inquiring about the frenzy, the hospital staff learned that a buffalo and its calf had died after being begged by a rabid stray dog. This caused an alarm when hundreds of people realized that the raita that they had consumed a day before at a religious ceremony was made from the curd of the deceased buffalo and hence they rushed to get vaccinated.
As per reports, the milk of the same buffalo was also delivered to many houses the very same day causing more panic. Talking to TOI, a local resident said that the death of the buffalo did not bother anyone until it was learned from the farmer that the dog which had ask him was rapid. As soon as the news spread, people started fearing that they might contract rabies from the milk and curd.
As the situation worsened, officers from Gwalior Medical College and Infectious Disease Center had to rush to Dabra to control the panic. With the high demand for rabies injection, the PHC also ran out of anti-rabies stocks.
The medical officer of Dabra civil hospital, Dr Vijay Pathak informed TOI that the hospital has been following WHO guidelines which do not prescribe the use of vaccines in this case. Nearly 1,000 people wanted to get anti-rabies shots but only of them got the jabs, he further added.
Dabra block medical officer Dr Arvind Sharma also substantiated the claim saying that WHO had issued guidelines in 2018 that consumption of milk or even milk products from rabid animals doesn’t transmit the disease.
However, around 150 villagers were not convinced and were given anti-rabies shots.
Some people took the vaccine at the government hospital while others approached private facilities, said a local resident.
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