The Sri Lanka government's health department launched an anti-rabies drive on July 31 to prevent deaths caused by the deadly disease. The drive is a result of 20 deaths in the country caused by rabies during the first quarter of 1999. The death toll was 79 in 1998 and 197 in 1997. During the campaign, veterinarians vaccinated around 59,000 dogs, sources said. Sri Lanka has about 2.2 million dogs, of which 10 per cent are stray dogs. According to the plan, veterinarians will visit homes and give oral vaccine to all the dogs.
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