Handle pets with care

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With the existing shortage of the anti-rabies serum in the country, the general public has been cautioned to maintain a wary distance from pets and strays.

Sources at the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) said on Friday (3), the serum had been in short supply for some time and even the Premier had brought it up during his speech recently. They said, the matter had been brought to the attention of the relevant authorities at the Ministry of Health. The country had not even received the anti-rabies serum in the large stocks of donations that it had received during the past number of weeks, they said.

However, there was one hope, according to private sector veterinarians and the All Island Private Pharmacy Owners’ Association (AIPPOA), as the anti-rabies vaccine, which was administered to domestic animals and stray cats and dogs, was available. Private sector veterinary hospitals said that there was no shortage of the rabies vaccine amongst their stocks. But, a shortage has been reported in the serum administered against human rabies, they noted.  The ‘Rabies Unit’ of the National Hospital, Colombo refused to comment ‘over the phone,’ regarding the availability of the anti-rabies serum while several attempts to contact the Hospital Administrators failed.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne