NEGROS Occidental ranks number one among the provinces in the country with the most number of positive rabies cases, records showed.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena on Thursday, July 6, said Negros Occidental is considered a “high-risk” province in terms of rabies cases, which is “very alarming.”
If a locality has two or more dog cases or deaths in a year, it is already considered a high-risk area, Decena said.
Decena added that the province is ninth in the country with the most number of dog cases, “but in terms of positive cases, we are number one.”
“The number of samples submitted to the laboratory last year was 32. Of the number, 21 were positive, or 65 percent,” he said.
Decena noted that Pampanga is number one in terms of cases with 72, with 308 dog samples submitted.
Next to Pampanga with most number of dog cases are Pangasinan, Cebu, South Cotabato, Misamis Oriental, Cavite, Bulacan, Batangas, Negros Occidental and Iloilo.
From January to June 30 this year, 12 dogs in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, were found positive of rabies.
Of the number, Cauayan has three cases while Bacolod City and Bago City has two each. E.B. Magalona, Pontevedra, Kabankalan City, Ilog, and Victorias City has one each.
The positive rabies cases also led to the deaths of four people in the province – two in Cauayan, and one each in Kabankalan City and Ilog.
Decena noted that there were only two human deaths in the province last year.
Moreover, Decena cited the case of a dog in Victorias City which tested positive although it was vaccinated in February this year during the provincial government’s massive vaccination program.
He said they are looking at various factors why it happened.
“Sometimes, during massive vaccination, the dog is not properly examined. It may have worms, skin diseases or other diseases which prevented the vaccine from taking effect. It could be the injection, instead of subcutaneous or intra-mascular, the dog was injected only on dermis or intra-dermal. It could be the handling of vaccines. These are the effects of massive vaccination, unlike in the private clinic where dogs are examined first,” Decena explained.
He said the province has a total 240,000 dog population.
To have effective dog rabies control, Decena said the local government units have to implement the anti-rabies ordinance.
He said there is dog registration and vaccination, and failure to comply has corresponding penalties and fines.
Decena said the populace should also help the local government as the province is already considered a “high-risk” area.
He said the Provincial Veterinary Office has enough vaccines, and district veterinarians continue to go around the localities to address the rabies problem.
He added that they have also reached the hinterlands to vaccinate the dogs in these areas.