DOH verifying rabies outbreak in Ilocos

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is verifying reports that cases of rabies in Ilocos region have increased.

“There is no need to panic... We still have to validate the increase as reported in some provinces to verify if there is a need to declare a health emergency or outbreak,” DOH-Ilocos regional director Paula Paz Sydiongco said.

Rabies is a serious illness with 99 percent fatality rate, especially if a person is bitten in “critical areas” such as the face, arms and thigh.

Data from the Ilocos Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit showed that 11 rabies cases were recorded from Jan. 1 to May 27.

Sydiongco said rabies cases also increased in some provinces in the past weeks.

“Owners have the responsibility to have their pets immunized against rabies yearly and provide other booster shots to keep them healthy and safe from viruses,” she said.

Sydiongco said 17,613 vials of anti-rabies shots were distributed in various provincial health offices in the region.

She said the DOH-Ilocos office is committed to end rabies deaths in the region by 2027 and ensure a rabies-free Philippines by 2030.

Meanwhile, Benguet is on alert as dengue cases have continued to increase since January.

Data provided by the Benguet provincial health office showed that 457 cases were recorded from January to May compared to 316 during the same period last year.

The provincial health office said a 66-year-old man recently died of dengue.

Health education and promotion officer Patrick Depolio said La Trinidad has the highest number of dengue cases with 117 followed by Itogon, 81, and Buguias, 41.

Depolio said six barangays recorded clustering of cases. – Artemio Dumlao

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