Rabies is caused by a virus that infects the central nervous system. Once symptoms of the disease develop, it is nearly always fatal. People are usually infected following a deep bite or scratch by an infected animal, usually a dog or a cat. It is passed on to the person via contact with the rabid animal’s saliva.Philippine Statistics
– Rabies remains a serious public health problem, responsible for about 200-250 deaths.
– More than half of the victims are children between five and 14 years old.
– The Philippines is one of the top 10 countries in terms of rabies prevalence according to the World Health Organization.
The incubation period for rabies is typically 1–3 months, but may vary from 1 week to 1 year. The initial symptoms of rabies are fever and often pain or an unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking or burning sensation at the wound site.
Other symptoms include hyperactivity, excited behaviour, confusion, drooling, paralysis, hydrophobia and sometimes aerophobia.
First aid treatment
– Immediately and thoroughly flush and wash the wound for a minimum of 15 minutes with soap and water.
– Antiseptics like povidone iodine may be applied.
– Consult a doctor.
Vaccination will be based on the type of exposure and the animal exposed to. It is especially needed in cases of bites near the head and neck areas.
Rabies shots usually consist of six injections given over a period of 28 days. The first injection is best given on the day of the bite itself.
Secretary of Health, Dr. Enrique Ona, advised that “tandok”, “mananambal”, and other traditional healing methods including garlic should not be used as remedies. Also, bleeding should not be induced as the rabies virus is not found in the blood.
Philippine Republic Act 9482 or Anti-Rabies Act of 2007
According to the law, responsibility of pet owners includes having their dogs registered and vaccinated against rabies. In case their dog bites a victim, they shall shoulder all related medical expenses including cost of vaccines.
Penalties for violating the law include, P2,000.00 for refusal to have their dog vaccinated and P25,000.00 for refusal to shoulder medical expenses of the victim.
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs099/en/ ; http://www.paws.org.ph/anti-rabies-act-ra-9482.html; http://www.philstar.com/health-and-family/2014/01/28/1283632/what-you-need-know-about-rabies; http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/172064/doh-warns-pet-owners-who-kiss-their-dogs-on-the-lips-may-get-rabies; www.doh.gov.ph