Capitol to mark World Rabies Day in Danao City

The Cebu Provincial Government will join the worldwide rabies fight this September 28- marked as the World Rabies Day.

Dr. Ann Gabona, chief, animal public health division of the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO), said the Capitol will host loads of activities in Danao City on September 30.

Some of these include dog walk, rabies information education campaign, and film showing about rabies, which will be held at the Danao Civic Center.

For the dog walk, the participants will get the opportunity to win awards from the province such as Best in Dog-Owner Tandem and Best in Costume.

The activity is open to all dog owners in Danao City, whether their pets are pure breed or Asong Pinoy (native).

Simultaneously, PVO will also conduct free veterinary services such as consultation, deworming, vitamins supplementation, spay and neuter, and anti-rabies vaccination.

At least five or six veterinarians will carry out the veterinary health services specifically for dogs and cats.

This is the third rabies awareness activity of the Capitol this year. The province also marked March as the national rabies awareness month and June as the provincial rabies awareness month.

Gabona said the main purpose of the program is to create awareness about the deadly and disease as part of a nationwide campaign for a rabies-free Philipines. “We are aiming for a rabies-free Cebu in 2016 and the entire country in 2020,” she said.

Gabona said rabies is not curable once a person, who is bitten by a rabies-infected animal, has shown some of the disease’s symptoms. To prevent the arrival of the symptoms Gabona said it is important for those who are bitten by dogs or cats to immediately and properly treat the wound.

She said they should first wash the wound with running water in 10 to 15 minutes; second, apply tincture of iodine to the wound; third; go to the health center for medical treatment including vaccination; and four, report the biting incident to the city or town veterinarian for observation of the animal/s in 15 days.

According to the World Health Organization, “The incubation period for rabies is typically 2-3 months; however, this could vary from 5 days to several years. Initial symptoms of rabies are usually non-specific. Oftentimes there will be fever, pain or unusual unexplained tingling, and pricking or burning sensation (paraesthesia) at the wound site.

As the virus spreads through the central nervous system, progressive, fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.”

While Cebu is positioning itself as a tourism hub in the country, it should prevent or eradicate rabies, Gabona added.

Cebu is currently ranked third in the number of animal rabies cases countrywide.

Leah Cayetano, Capitol Agricultural Technician I, said in 2013, there were a total of 42 positive canine rabies cases reported in the entire Cebu. Of the 42 cases, 31 of it came from the urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-lapu, and Mandaue.

In the same year, three (3) suspected positive human rabies cases were recorded in Cebu Province.

This year, 29 cases of animal rabies are reported as of this writing; 24 of the cases came from the cities of Cebu and Lapu-lapu.

In Cebu Province, the Camotes group of islands, which has four towns, and Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town, were already declared rabies-free zone in 2011.

The Capitol is now recommending the inclusion of Bantayan Island in the north and Badian Island in the south in the rabies free zone list of the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture.