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Health

SMC issues advisory on prevention of dog bites

Highlighting the high canine population in the city, a local asked how the advisory would benefit the people.

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Srinagar, Nov 3 : Next time you are confronted by a pack of aggressive dogs in the city, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) does not want you to run but just cross your arms over your chest and look away, the animal will become disinterested in you!

The SMC, which is often criticised of failing to control the canine menace in the city, has issued this advisory to the people living in the summer capital of the city, where an estimated 16,000 people have suffered dog bites in the past three years.

Published in local dailies here yesterday, the SMC lists various dos and don’ts in its public advisory on dog bites.

“If you are confronted by an aggressive dog, do not run away or scream at a dog. Stand still, cross your arms over your chest and look away from the dog, do not panic and let the animal sniff around you, it will quickly become disinterested and move on,” reads the advisory.

The SMC has asked the citizens to look for a “certain type of body language” in dogs when confronted.

“An aggressive dog may have a wrinkled nose that draws back to reveal its teeth, the hair along the back of its neck may be raised forming a long column along its spine, its ears may lie back, it may growl or snarl, avoid any dog displaying such signs,” the advisory reads.

While the advisory, issued by Veterinary Officer, SMC, Javaid Rather, suggests that children in the age group of four to nine years are the most common victims of dog bites, it fails to mention how a child would determine the mood of a canine especially when confronted by dogs found almost in every part of the city.

The SMC advises people to never go up to a strange dog, and to not let the children alone around a pack of stray dogs.

“Do not look directly into a dogs eyes, they take the direct eye contact as a challenge for power and control,” the advisory further suggests.

The advisory has attracted mockery from citizens and netizens alike.

“The SMC advisory in yesterday’s paper about dog menace sounds like a script from a comic show,” a Facebook user Sardar Nasir Ali Khan wrote in a post.

Another user, Naqash Sarwar, wrote, “That is ridiculous.I wanted to react to post harshly but contained myself. Instead of performing themselves and containing dog population as per norms they tell people do’s and dont’s. They don’t realise that most of the victims of dog bite are children who can’t understand this advisory.”

Highlighting the high canine population in the city, a local asked how the advisory would benefit the people.

“In a place like Srinagar where we almost live amongst dogs, how will this advisory benefit? We need action rather than such bizarre advisories,” Zahid Ahmad, a resident of downtown Srinagar, said.

However, defending the advisory, the veterinary officer said it was based upon the most scientific observations and facts by the veterinarians world over.

“These dos and don’ts are there world over and have been formulated by vets based on most scientific facts and observations,” Rather told PTI here.

He said covering one’s chest with arms is to protect one’s vital organs in case of an attack by dogs.

Rather said the parents have to be careful not to let their children alone anywhere near the places where packs of dogs can be namely around open garbage sheds.

“We should avoid dumping garbage in open places,” he said, adding parents should not be “careless” and should not go towards dogs for fun.

He said the corporation was working on multiple strategies to reduce the number of dog bites.

“Each day Srinagar generates 450 metric tonnes of garbage, which includes 200 metric tonnes of non-vegetarian waste. We are doing our best to control the accumulation of such garbage in open dumps,” he said.

Rather said while the SMC has closed about 350 open garbage dumps in the city, around 300 still remain.

“We have to close all of them and we are in the process,” he said, seeking cooperation from the residents.

Health

Ebola death toll rises to 200 in Congo

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

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Ebola Infection

Kinshasa, Oct 21 : The death toll in the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has risen to 200, the Health Ministry has said.

According to statistics released by the Ministry on Saturday, of the 200 cases confirmed in Beni and surrounding areas, 117 have died of the virus while 61 others recovered after treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

The DRC authorities declared the outbreak in North Kivu province on August 1. It was also reported in the northern province of Ituri.

The World Health Organization said the 10th Ebola outbreak in DRC does not currently constitute a public health emergency of international concern.

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Health

Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health

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walk-walking

London, Oct 20: People who commute — walking or cycling — through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study.

Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies.

“Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.

For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health.

The findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently.

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

“From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.

“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.”

IANS

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Health

Number of Zika virus cases reaches 100 in Jaipur

A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.

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Zika virus

Jaipur, Oct 18 : The number of people infected with the Zika virus has gone up to 100 in Jaipur, officials said on Thursday.

State Chief Secretary D.B. Gupta held a review meeting and directed the officials to carry out anti-larvae activities in educational institutions and administrative buildings in Jaipur.

Veenu Gupta, Chief Secretary (Medicine and Health) said, “Medical teams in Jaipur are carrying out screening and fogging activities. A total of 1,11,825 houses have been screened. Special precautions are being taken in the Zika-affected areas.”

She said that there was no shortage of medicines at health centres. She also directed district officials to monitor the regular availability of medicines and testing equipment in hospitals.

Gupta directed officials to take measures to prevent breeding of mosquitoes in the Rajasthan Police Academy, Police Line and the RAC Battalion.

She asked the Army officials to check the spread of mosquitoes and larvae in their area.

Gupta instructed officials to pay special attention to tourist places such as Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and Albert Hall.

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