A STATE of emergency has been declared in Sablan town due to an alarming rise in rabies cases.
On Friday, Vice Mayor Arthur Baldo announced the declaration and said rabies cases were reported June 22, July 11, and July 23.
Baldo said "For the first case there were three bite cases, second case include two bite cases and no bites for the third case. The first case to the second case was about 400 meters, second and third case about 15 meters."
As of press time there are three confirmed cases of rabid dogs at barangay Poblacion, Sablan as reported by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) and the Rural Health Unit (RHU) as confirmed by the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL).
Baldo added no deaths were reported and the five people bitten by the animals have been injected with anti-rabies vaccines and are still being monitored. Victims include a three and a 75 year old.
Aside from the five bite cases, 48 individuals had exposure to rabies which include those who handled the rabid dogs from drivers, technicians, all of whom have taken anti-rabies vaccinations.
Baldo siad "The purpose of declaring the town under state of emergency is for the LGU to adopt strategy and measure to contain the further spread of rabies virus in the municipality and the adjacent municipalities of Benguet and the province of La Union.”
Among the strategies adopted is the purchase of rabies vaccines for dogs and cats and protective gear for vaccinators as well as the acquisition of dog collars and leashes.
There are 1,700 animals administered the anti-rabies drug in a mass vaccination on July 27 and 28 for barangay Poblacion, assistance were also extended by the regional office of Department of Agriculture, provincial government and the provincial veterinary office.
Baldo added there is a need to declare the municipality under the state of emergency in order to avail of the Municipal Risk and Reduction Fund in particular the Quick Response Fund for the purhcase of additional vaccines.
Sablan has a 11,457 population composed of eight barangays, Baldo said there are plans to likewise pass a resolution to inform nearby towns of the issue.
Baldo added the lifting of the declaration of will depend on the approval from the DA and Provincial Veterinary Office of Benguet.
Doctor Miriam Tiongan, Benguet Provincial Veterinarian said the cases of rabies have causes alarm with three cases in the span of two months.
"With the efforts that the government of Benguet is doing to prevent the occurrence of rabies we cannot stop because rabies knows no boundaries."
Rabies, a 100 percent fatal disease caused by a virus is transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Republic Act 9482, an act providing control and elimination of rabies which requires owners to have their pets vaccinated at three months old and every year after.