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Over 480 dogs die, parvovirus infection suspected

KOLKATA: More than 480 street dogs have died in the last few days in different parts of the state with the cause of death being suspected to be 'canine parvovirus'.

The highest number of deaths over 250 has been reported from Bishnupur in Bankura district with the maximum fatalities being reported among puppies. Apart from Bankura, there have been reports of dogs' deaths from Birbhum, Malda, Nadia, Murshidabad, North 24-Parganas too.

The Animal Resources Development (ARD) department has started organising awareness camps in different parts of the state regarding the virus.

"The symptoms like vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea (with blood from stool) and fever develop among the dogs in 3 to 10 days. The gastrointestinal tract is the worst affected .We have already asked all veterinary doctors to stay alert," Jaharlal Chakraborty, Chairman of West Bengal Veterinary Council said.

According to veterinarians parvovirus is highly contagious that spreads from dog--to-dog through direct or indirect contact and mostly through faeces.

The symptoms of parvovirus are similar to that of cholera in humans.

There is no vaccine available for a dog infected with this virus. However prior vaccination can stop affliction of the disease. In case of pet dogs the owners themselves do the needful.

In case of street dogs some NGOs take up the responsibility of vaccination. But due to COVID pandemic situation this process of vaccination has been badly affected.

"No such deaths of dogs have been reported in Kolkata. However it is a fact that lack of manpower had affected our vaccination drive amid the COVID situation. It has now started,"Atin Ghosh, Member Board of Administrators. Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

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