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July 1, 2013

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Residents told to keep dogs on a leash as peak bite season starts

RESIDENTS have been warned to keep their pet pooches on a leash as the summer marks the peak season for dog bites in Shanghai.

About 4,000 people were bitten by dogs in the Pudong New Area last month, up from 3,500 in May, said the Pudong District Disease Prevention and Control Center.

"Dogs are more likely to get irritated in hot and humid weather," said Zhao Xinqun, a doctor in charge of dog bites at Zhoupu Hospital in Pudong.

"People often wear less in the summer and this means a dog bite would create a bigger wound than if they were wearing more clothes," Zhao said.

Zhao said the hospital treated 400 people for dog bites in the first 26 days of June, 360 in May and 323 in April.

Experts said someone who has been bitten by a dog needs to wash the wound with soap for about 15 minutes followed by applying a medical iodine solution and alcohol.

Dog bite victims then need to go to a hospital for a rabies vaccination. Experts said dogs can still carry the rabies virus even if they have been vaccinated and bite victims need to get the shot.

Cats also carry the rabies virus.

A man was detained by police after his dog killed a toddler in Dalian City last week. His Tibetan mastiff bit the three-year-old girl's neck.


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