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Nation

Rabies scare in Isabela

- Cesar Ramirez, Charlie Lagasca -

ILAGAN, Isabela, Philippines – An average of at least one person dies of rabies every month in the province, prompting the provincial government to intensify its anti-rabies drive to prevent its outbreak.

According to Dr. Angelo Naui, provincial veterinary officer, the rabies deaths have been monitored from January to June alone, which already represents half of last year’s total fatalities due to the virus caused by bites of rabies-infected animals.

Reports show that at least 14 persons succumbed to rabies last year while 18 death cases, also due to the virus, were monitored the previous year.

“We have intensified our anti-rabies vaccination drive especially on areas where incidents of rabies were monitored to prevent its outbreak,” Naui said.

Reports indicated that some 6,000 dogs have been vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccines since January this year.

In related developments, in Pangasinan, some 3,500 dogs in Mangatarem town have been vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccines as part of the provincial government’s intensified Anti-Rabies Campaign.

Dr. Benedicto Perez, chief of the provincial veterinarian’s office, said the campaign is to keep in step with the National Rabies Control Program which calls for a Rabies-Free Philippines in year 2020.

Perez said they started on July 13 their massive campaign which aims to vaccinate at least 80 percent of the total dog population, or an average of one dog per household.

The PVO has initially identified nine municipalities found to have positive cases of rabies- afflicted dogs based on reports submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

These municipalities are Mangatarem, Bayambang, Bautista, Alcala, Rosales, Balungao, Umingan, Urbiztondo and Sto. Tomas.

A viral disease, rabies is usually transmitted through bites of rabies-infected animals. Naui said that most of the rabies cases in the province were caused by dog bites. - Charlie Lagasca, Cesar Ramirez

ANTI-RABIES CAMPAIGN CESAR RAMIREZ CHARLIE LAGASCA DR. ANGELO NAUI DR. BENEDICTO PEREZ MANGATAREM NATIONAL RABIES CONTROL PROGRAM NAUI RABIES RABIES-FREE PHILIPPINES REGIONAL ANIMAL DISEASE DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORY
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