BAGUIO CITY – Three local government units in the region are on the verge of being declared rabies free in the next several years once there will be no rabies cases that will be recorded in the said places.
Dr. Cecilia Capuyan, veterinarian of the Cordillera office of Department of Agriculture’s regulatory section, said that Baguio City, Mountain Province and Ifugao could be declared as rabies free in the next several years once the said places will not record rabies cases in their areas of jurisdiction.
While there was an increase of rabies cases in the region last year with 24 cases compared to the 11 recorded cases in 2016, Capuyan explained that the rabies cases in the region is much lower compared to the hundreds of rabies cases around the region over the past several years.
The DA-CAR official explained that there is no local government in the region that had been declared as rabies free because of the reported intermittent cases that cropped up in the said places following the government’s campaign to vaccinate dogs and the inventory of the same done by the different veterinary offices.
For March which is institutionalized as the anti-rabies month, the veterinarian claimed that rabies vaccination in all veterinary offices is free, thus, individuals with pets should have their dogs vaccinated to guarantee that the animals will be rabies free for the protection of their masters and the people in their neighbrhood.
In 2017, the rabies cases were recorded in Apayao with 10 followed by Abra with 6 cases, Benguet and Kalinga with 3 cases each and Baguio City and Ifugao with 1 rabies case each.
Capuyan noted that the significant increase in the number of dogs around the region is a product of the on-going inventory of dogs purposely to monitor whether or not the said dogs were vaccinated, thus, it will serve as a reference for the local governments to formulate the implementation of anti-rabies programs that will lead to the achievement of zero rabies cases in their areas of jurisdiction.
Of a certain place will be declared as rabies free, she explained that there will be a chance for the declaration to be revoked once veterinarians will record rabies cases in the areas of jurisdiction of the concerned local government in the future.
She advised individuals bitten by dogs and cats to immediately seek medical attention from the nearest health facility in their place so that proper medical attention will be given aside from the fact that observations could be done on the dogs and cats whether or not they are rabid.
According to her, rabies is curable if the same is detected on its early stage but it could be the cause of death of an individual once proper medication will not be accorded the persons that was bitten by a rabid animal.
Capuyan urged local officials in the region to formulate their anti-rabies programs and activities to empower their constituents to have their pets vaccinated to ensure that they will be free from the dreaded rabies which was able to claim hundreds of lives of innocent people in the past when the anti-rabies programs were not yet institutionalized.