Provincial Veterinarian Joselito Gleyo said rabies “is a 100 percent deadly disease but very preventable.”
March is the Rabies Awareness Month and Dr. Gleyo’s office is starting to vaccinate dogs as kick-off of their advocacy that would run until the end of the year. “This is to address rabies cases in Sarangani,” Gleyo said.
Aside from vaccination, the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian is also conducting massive rabies community symposiums to urge the people “na makibahagi at para maintindihan nila kung ano ang rabies disease,” Gleyo said.
Rabies virus is a neurotropic virus that causes rabies in humans that occurs after a bite or scratch by infected animals like dogs and cats. It can be transmitted through infectious material like saliva of animals and less commonly through contact with human saliva that comes into direct contact with a victim’s fresh skin lesions.
Deaths caused by rabies, according to Gleyo, can be prevented by having dogs vaccinated and by immediately going to the nearest health centers for an examination and for Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) which is available for free.
Castillo said the PEP human vaccines in private hospitals would cost from P4,000 to P22,000 per patient.
Based on PHO data, some of the death cases here were caused by delayed examination of the patients. Some underwent for examination and PEP when they already felt the symptoms of the virus.
According to Castillo the incubation period or “the period from the time of exposure up to the appearance of the first clinical symptoms of rabies” generally ranges from 20 to 90 days. (BEVERLY C. PAOYON /Sarangani Information Office)