A CITY councilor has urged Dabawenyos to raise awareness in preventing the spread of rabies.

Councilor Nilo Abellera Jr. said he was alarmed by reports released by the Department of Health (DOH) indicating an increase in rabies cases in the Davao region.

"The rise in victims of rabies and the insufficiency of medications is a concern of Public Safety and Health. Rabies is preventable and can be eliminated," Abellera said.

Mary Divene Hilario, DOH rabies program coordinator in the region, last week said there were 33,199 animal bite cases last year, up from 20,684 in 2013.

Rabies deaths rose to 22 from 16 during the same period, Hilario said.

All of the deaths were males less than 15 years who did not seek medical help.

Hilario said Davao Region exceeded the DOH central office target for rabies cases of 1.5 percent per population.

"It is alarming because we know that rabies is 100 percent deadly," she said. ANC