India still has a long way to go in preventing rabies

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India Comments Off

India still has a long way to go in preventing rabies

Lack of awareness about rabies protocols exacerbates problems

New Delhi, 30th April 2018: Although rabies is a 100% preventable condition, South East Asia’s substantial progress in driving down the burden of the disease remains an issue till date. More than 26,000 people in the region die of rabies every year. India alone accounts for about one-third of all related deaths. Lack of awareness remains a major impediment to timely treatment.

Rabies is caused due to a virus, which is transmitted when an infected animal bites or scratches a human being. Almost 95% of the cases result from dog bites. If a person gets rabies, then death is almost certain.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said, “The virus that leads to rabies attacks the nervous system. The last to get affected is the brain and therefore, those who contract the virus are aware of what is happening to them. People with rabies suffer from hydrophobia, a fear of water and can remain with a dry throat till the end. The first step to avoid contracting the disease is to wash the bite or scratch wound properly. This should be followed by the first shot of anti-rabies vaccine within the first 24 hours. Severe cuts may need an added dose of anti-rabies serum. This acts against virus before the vaccine’s effect kicks in. If a person develops symptoms of viral encephalitis following an animal bite, they should be treated as if they may have rabies. Although every bite may not cause rabies, it is important to follow this protocol as it can go a long way in avoiding potential complications.”

Bites, scratches, abrasions, or contact with animal saliva via mucous membranes or a break in the skin can transmit rabies. Rabies progresses in five distinct stages: incubation, prodrome, acute neurologic period, coma, and death.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “The fight against rabies cannot be complete without giving anti-rabies vaccination to dogs as well. For example, stray dogs in Delhi are given anti-rabies vaccine when they are caught for sterilization. However, this is just a one-time measure which may not suffice. India has a large number of stray dogs and therefore, their immunity after vaccination lasts only for a year or so making repeat vaccination a necessity. However, people should avoid harming animals for the fear of contracting this condition as not all bites can cause rabies.”

Monkey bites account for 2–21% of animal bite injuries. In India for example, two studies found monkeys to be second to dogs as the most common source of animal bite injuries. Monkey bite and scratch can also cause Rabies.

Some tips from HCFI to prevent rabies

  • Vaccinate your pet at regular intervals.
  • Avoid direct contact with injured or dead animals.
  • Supervise your pets and look for any strange behavioral signs. They usually behave agitated.
  • Stay informed about the disease, its signs, and protocols.
  • Report any sick or dead animals in your vicinity.

Limitations in criminal liability

Health Care Comments Off

Dr K K Aggarwal & Ira Gupta

Chapter XXXVI of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 deals with limitation for taking cognizance of certain offences. The provisions of various relevant sections of the said chapter are as follows:Section 468: Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation(1) Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Code, no Court, shall take cognizance of an offence of the category specified in sub-section (2), after the expiry of the period of limitation.(2) The period of limitation shall be –a. Six months, if the offence is punishable with fine only;b. One year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year;c. Three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years.(3) For the purposes of this section, the period of limitation, in relation to offences which may be tried together, shall be determined with reference to the offence which is punishable with the more severe punishment or, as the case

may be, the most severe punishment.

To decide whether the complaint is time barred or not, we need to know under what provisions the complaint has been made and also what is the maximumpunishment of the offences mentioned in the complaint.

Further as per the provisions of Section 469(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, the period of limitation in relation to an offender shall commence (a) On the date of offence; or(b) Where the commission of the offence was not known to the person aggrieved by the offence or to any police officer, the first day on which such offence comes to the knowledge of such person or to any police officer, whichever is earlier; or(c) Where it is not known by whom the offence was committed, the first day on

which the identity of the offender is known to the person aggrieved by the offence or to the police officer making investigation into the offence, whichever is earlier.Further as per section 469(2) of the CrPC, in computing the said period, the day

from which such period is to computed has to be excluded.

Also, as per the provision of Section 472 of CrPC, in case of continuing offence, a fresh period of limitation shall begin to run at every moment of the time during which the offence continues.

Dr KK Aggarwal Padma Shri Awardee Vice President CMAAO Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications President Heart Care Foundation of India Immediate Past National President IMA