Vaikom: A rabid dog has bitten five people in Kerala's Kottayam district on Friday.
The five - mostly elderly passersby on the road - have been moved to Kottayam Medical College for treatment.
They are Thankamma, Thangamani, Chandran, Purushu - all in their 70s - and Shibu (40).
Those who came in contact with them are urged to reach Vaikom Taluk Hospital.
The attack happened in Kizhakkenadam and Thottuvakkam areas of Vaikom.
It is suspected that the dog has also bitten other stray dogs in the area. This has got the residents of the region anxious.
They allege that despite complaints being lodged against the stray dog menace in the area, the authorities had taken no action.
The incident comes just weeks after a 19-year-old girl from Palakkad died due to rabies after she was bitten by a dog while on her way to college.
Her life could not be saved despite being administered four rounds of rabies vaccines.
Though the Kerala government had rushed in a new batch of vaccines following the incident, the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited has decided to not distribute them as this batch is yet to receive approval from the Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL).
Instead, it has availed 5,000 vials of CDL-certified rabies vaccines from Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Limited.
The State acknowledges that despite a shortage in vaccine reserves, it was late to place new orders for a new batch.