KOZHIKODE: Rather than rats, stray dogs and cattle which are more close to human beings spread epidemics like leptospirosis (rat fever), says experts. Domestic animals have been immediate carriers of all epidemics in flood-hit regions and it is better to be careful while handling your pets.
Eminent physician Dr K.P. Aravindan of Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, told DC that it is high time we should think seriously on either eliminating or rehabilitating the stray dog population. “Not only strays, cattle also spreads such diseases. In case of leptospirosis not only rats but when infected strays and cattle urinate in waterlogged spots, a person crisscrossing the area can be infected with the disease”, he added. “If it is strays in Kerala, it is cattle in cow-belt states that spread the epidemics”, he pointed out.
The high density of stray population in the city was proved by the recent stray census conducted by the experts of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) and the municipal corporation which confirmed that city streets have more than 13,000 strays. Though the city corporation had announced immediate launch of the Animal Birth Control Project, it is yet to materialise.
Corporation health officer Dr R.S. Gopakumar told DC that the corporation is on with an all-round campaign among the public on the precautions to be taken to resist the spread of leptospirosis. Sufficient stock of Doxycycline, the preventive medicine has been ensured. Most butchers in the city who are prone to the disease, were directed through the butchers’ association to take Doxycycline tablets as a preventive measure”, he added. “A team of 20 doctors from the Union Health Ministry are helping us in organising camps and conducting preventive measures”, he pointed out.