If the Department of Health strategy is to be followed, the government will eliminate all human deaths from dog-induced rabies by 2020.
“Rabies is considered a neglected disease that is 100% fatal but 100% preventable. Effective and safe medicines have been available for decades to prevent the disease in humans and animals. None of these deaths should have occurred since we have the necessary interventions to prevent rabies such as promotion of responsible pet ownership, early consultation when bitten by animals and timely administration of vaccines,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said during a recent event celebrating World Rabies Day.
In photo (from left): Rommel Abuda of GlaxoSmithKline; Dr. Emelinda Lopez, OIC Animal Health & Welfare Division of the Department of Agriculture; Health Secretary, Dr Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial; DOH Spokesperson , Dr Eric Tayag; and Dr Christine Dizon of GSK –
Figures show 180 deaths from human rabies for the period January 1 to September 24 2016.
A total of 783,879 animal bites across the country were registered in 2015. This is 10% higher than the 2014 number of 683,802 cases. The increase in the number of reported cases is attributed to the improved surveillance and services which enabled bite cases to seek treatment at established public Animal Bite Treatment Centers (ABTC) and/or private Animal Bite Centers. There are now 486 of such treatment centers all over the country, 32 of which are found in Metro Manila.
Here’s some useful FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions in dealing with rabies for the public to know:
How is rabies transmitted?
Rabies is most commonly transmitted through bites of rabid animals (cat,dog etc). Rabies can also be transmitted through licks of rabid animals on existing scratches and wounds of individuals.
What are the symptoms of rabies?
Confused state of mind; Irritable and anxious; Hydrophobic; Abnormal increase in salivation
How long does it take for symptoms to appear?
While the infected individual might seem healthy, the virus may already be traveling towards the brain. Symptoms of infection may occur weeks or months after rabies exposure.
What do I do to prevent rabies infection?
– Treatment should be started as early as possible after exposure, but in no case should it be denied to exposed persons whatever time interval
– Ensure complete compliance of the full treatment course. The rabies victim may die should the individual fail to complete the course of the treatment
At present, the government in coordination with other groups and people’s organizations has mobilized the BILIS Campaign. It is a disease awareness campaign aligned to the Rabies Free Philippines Advocacy with a goal to increase awareness on proper treatment, management and prevention of rabies infection.
This tagline communicates a sense of urgency to fight rabies immediately. BILIS stands for the 3 simple steps on how to manage animal bite exposure.
BI – Bilisan ang paghugas ng sugat
LI – Linisin ng alcohol
S – Sumangguni sa doktor ukol sa tamang pag-gamot ng sugat