BAGUIO CITY – The City Health Services office (CHSO) was able to record some 4,601 animal bites in the city from January to May this year wherein most of the reported bites were dog bites.
Dra. Vanessa Fagcangan, program cluster head of the CHSO’s non-communicable disease, said of the recorded animal bites, 83.97 percent are said to be dig bites, 15.74 percent were cat bites and 0.28 percent were other animal bites.
Last year, the CHSO was able to record some 6,953 animal bites wherein 5,894 were described to be dog bites, 1021 were cat bites and 28 were caused by other animals.
Fagcangan explained that rabies is the common result of animal bites but rabies is considered to be 100 percent fatal and 100 percent preventable, provided that, individuals bitten by animals will seek immediate medical attention from the nearest health facilities in their places for them to be provided with the appropriate treatment.
The CHSO official encouraged residents to have their dogs vaccinated by the City Veterinary office to help in sustaining the city’s no rabies incidents and for them to make sure that in cases of the occurrence of dog bites in their places, they must immediately seek the assistance of health personnel for the victims to be accorded the appropriate medical treatment.
When bitten by dogs or other animals, Fagcangan advised individuals to immediately wash their wounds with soap and free flowing water for at least 10 minutes and then immediately seek the appropriate medical attention from the nearest health facility so that they will be provided with the necessary treatment considering that self-medication for such cases is actually not advisable.
If the dog that had bitten an individual dies within the 14-day observation period, she claimed that appropriate steps must be undertaken by the concerned family members to have the head of the dog undergo the necessary laboratory test by the established animal bite centers of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ascertain whether or not the said dog is rabid for health workers to be guided in deciding to provide the bitten person with the needed shots of anti-rabies injections.
She disclosed that rabies can live in the body of an infected individual for 10 to 15 years that is why it is best for individuals who had been bitten by dogs, cats and other animals to immediately seek the required medical attention from the nearest health facility to prevent their health condition from being compromised.
The CHSO was able to record any human bite in the city for over 14 years now considering that what had been recorded are purely animal bites that have transpired in the city’s various barangays.
The CHSO has 16 existing district health centers in the different parts of the city to cater to the health issues and concerns of the residents in the city’s 128 barangays to bring the delivery of health care services closer to the people.
One of the primary programs of the local government is the provision of quality basic health services to the people through the operationalization of health facilities that will guarantee the immediate attention to be given to residents seeking medical attention from the nearest health facilities in their places. By Dexter A. See