DOH logs 22% spike in CL rabies cases

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 267,191 animal bite cases in Central Luzon.

The figure represents a 22 percent increase last year, compared to only 216,293 cases in 2022.

The DOH Central Luzon Center for Health Development said that a fifth of the rabies came from Bulacan, followed by Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

“In terms of deaths attributed to human rabies, we also recorded an 8.0 percent increase or 54 deaths in 2023. Almost half of these deaths or 43 percent were from the province of Bulacan alone,” the agency said.

DOH said animal bite cases continue to go up across all provinces and highly-urbanized cities in Central Luzon from 2021 to 2023.

As a result, human rabies cases correspondingly increase during the same period.

The agency explained that rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by lyssavirus, which is usually found in the saliva of infected dogs and cats.

“About 99 percent of rabies cases come from dogs, while the second most common cause of the virus are cats. However, we should take note that not all dogs and cats are carriers of the virus. Also, other warm-blooded animals like bats, pigs, cows, skunks, and raccoons can be infected with it,” the DOH said.

The most common mode of transmission is through animal bite or scratch from rabid animals.

DOH said the virus may also be acquired through organ transplant from people who died of the disease.

“Eating raw meat of infected animals can be another mode of transmission. That is the reason why we do not encourage the public to eat meat of dogs and cats,” it added.


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