Casuntingan, Mandaue City, Barangay Captain Oscar del Castillo (left) watches as dog bite victims are given anti-tetanus shots at the Barangay Health Center. The dog (inset) was allegedly showing symptoms of being rabid when it bit the victims. An examination has yet to be conducted on the dog after it died following its capture.
Joy Torrejos
Canine may have been rabid: Dog attack hurts 21
Christell Fatima M. Tudtud, May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - January 23, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - At least 21 people, including a barangay captain, were bitten by a mad dog in  Mandaue City Saturday afternoon.

The canine allegedly owned by a certain Webster "Macoy" Seno started attacking people on the street in Barangay Casuntingan at around 5 p.m. The dog initially attacked seven people in the barangay, including the owner.

The victims went to seek help from Casuntingan Barangay Captain Oscar del Castillo, who immediately ordered his tanods to look for the dog.

"Nakita nako nga dagko kaayo'ng (mga) samad. Akong gipalihok dayon ang atong mga tanod para sa pagdakop sa maong iro," Del Castillo said.

A few hours later the number of victims increased 21 before the dog was captured in the nearby Barangay Banilad Sunday dawn.

"Naabot mi sa Barangay Banilad og dinakpanay gikan sa Barangay Casuntingan. Dugay kaayo ang dinakpanay mura'g igmat man sad ang iro. Dakoon nga klase sa iro," Del Castillo said.

Del Castillo said after several hours of hunting the animal in several sitios of the barangay they were able to corner him in Barangay Banilad. But it was not that easy because the dog was still hostile.

"Hilabihan pagka-wild g'yud, naigo man sa patid nako. Ako man giponterya, ako gihamagan, gilayatan g'yud ko," he said.

Del Castillo said he also suffered bite wound in the leg.

The barangay captain said they placed the dog inside a sack to restrain him but the animal died a few hours later. Del Castillo said the dog may have suffocated inside the sack.

He explained that they were forced to place the animal inside the sack because it is very restless and wild.

"Kay di man ka-kumpiyansaan kay ultimo sako paak-paakon niya unya di man mahimo among tangtangon ang sako kay mamaak napud," he said.

Del Castillo said they would have wanted the animal alive to observe if it was rabid or not.  

"Atong gusto nga madakpan siya’ng buhi aron ma-obserbahan siya kung unsa gyud ni," he said.

According to the victims, the dog was salivating, an indication of a rabid animal, when the attack happened. Death of the animal after biting someone is also an indication of rabies.

Some of the victims were brought to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center to have shots of anti-rabies vaccine. The others will have to wait until today to get the vaccine because the hospital allegedly ran out of supply.

Del Castillo said all the victims will meet today at the Casuntingan Barangay Hall before going to the City Health Department to get the vaccine. The dog's head was cut off and preserved in ice for laboratory examination.

Del Castillo said the owner of the dog is nowhere to be found after the incident. Although he was among those bitten, he will still have to face responsibility for what happened.

"Sa balaod, ang iro nga nakapaak, labi nag mahibaw-an nato nga naay tag-iya, posible iyaha gyud ni'ng obligasyon ang damage ana," Del Castillo said.

Del Castillo said he hopes that the owner will coordinate with the barangay and the victims.

Meanwhile, the head of the anti-rabies program of the Department of Health-7 advised all the victims to visit the animal bite treatment centers instead of resorting to home-based treatment. 

Dr. Joanri Riveral, regional coordinator of the Rabies Control and Prevention Program of DOH-7, said that people found infected with rabies should directly go to the nearest animal-bite treatment center and request for anti-rabies vaccination.

He said vaccination is important to prevent the virus from affecting the person's nervous system.

He noted that the regional agency provides vaccines to the accredited health centers. These include the VSMMC in Cebu City, the Eversley Childs Sanitarium and the General Hospital in Mandaue City.

The agency also recognized the health units of the city government in Cebu City and Mandaue City.

He said some doses of the vaccines, like the active type, are provided for free while some are already charged to the patient.

He said the infected person should be vaccinated in less than seven days or he may develop symptoms of the viral disease such as fever, fear of water and air, or manifestations of violent behavior.

"Naa man gyud uban nga sa balay lang ug pahiran lang og suka ang samad pinaakan. Kinahanglan nga mabakunahan gyud," he said. (FREEMAN)

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