May 23, 2024

The Department of Health sustains its prevention strategies to arrest the spread of rabies, a zoonotic and fatal viral disease spread to people and pets if bitten or scratched by a rabid animal. 

In a press conference on March 6, Nurse III Kristine Gale Raguindin of the DOH Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease and Rabies Prevention and Control Program highlighted the significant number of cases in the city and elaborated on the severe consequences of rabies, underscoring the need for awareness and prevention efforts.

Raguindin said all reported rabies cases in the city from 2019 to 2022 involved dogs as the biting animal, with Category 3 having the highest exposure history among these cases.

Rabies are classified into three categories: Category 1 involves the risk of contracting rabies through licking even without any open wounds or bleeding; Category 2 presents a danger where minor scratches can transmit rabies; and Category 3 represents severe cases involving transdermal bites and deep scratches. These incidents mostly involve pet dogs.

Raguindin said bites and rabies infection can be prevented if those who have been bitten seek prompt medical treatment.

She also discou-raged using tandok, an indigenous treatment for animal and snake bites.

She said individuals who underwent this procedure have died of either tetanus or rabies.

Raguindin said the best protection is still to have post-exposure prophylaxis vaccines available at animal bite treatment centers.

These government-run clinics offer and are responsible for recording and reporting cases, conducting rabies awareness activities, and investigating suspect rabies cases.

She also urged the public to take responsibility as pet owners and ensure their pets receive yearly vaccinations, including booster doses, to prevent the spread of rabies. – Krizia Mae Pagusan