GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 May) — Veterinary personnel here have stepped up their anti-rabies vaccination activities as it already detected at least 10 rabies cases among dogs in the area since January.
Dr. Antonio Marin, head of the City Veterinary Office, said the rabies cases were found in 44 head samples that they submitted for examination at the Department of Agriculture’s regional animal disease diagnostic laboratory in Barangay Lagao here.
He said the confirmed rabid dogs, which came from different locations within the city’s 26 barangays, were among the animals that were voluntarily submitted by their owners for testing.
These animals were either involved in bite incidents or showed signs and symptoms of rabies infection, he said.
“We already conducted blanket vaccination for all dogs in the streets and communities where the rabid animals came from,” he said in a radio interview.
Marin urged residents who own pet dogs and other warm-blooded to ensure that they are vaccinated and protected from rabies.
He reiterated that rabies infection among humans are deadly if these are not properly treated immediately.
There were no reported cases of rabies deaths in the city so far but Marin said they recorded a total of 1,608 animal bite cases during the first quarter of the year and it increased to around 2,000 by the end of April.
He said the bite victims were treated at the Animal Bite Treatment Center of the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital.
Marin said they have been continually conducting anti-rabies vaccination activities for dogs at the household level.
He said their vaccination team, in coordination with barangay workers, already covered a total of 19,239 dogs from January to April.
The city’s estimated dog population is currently around 70,000, he said.
“The best way to counter rabies is still through dog vaccination so this remains our top priority,” he said.
He added that they have enough supplies of anti-rabies vaccines to cover all dogs within the city. (MindaNews)