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14 rabies deaths recorded in Central Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Central Luzon Office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) here has recorded 14 deaths in the region due to rabies from January to November this year, the Agriculture Department reported Friday.

Bulacan posted the most number of fatalities with nine followed by Tarlac and Zambales with two each and Pampanga with one.

“In order to prevent these, programs such as the distribution of information and education campaign materials, dog immunization, establishment of dog pounds, rabies control ordinance, rabies control committees, and establishment of animal bite treatment centers (ABTC) in the region are being intensified,” Regional Rabies Coordinator Milagros Mananggit disclosed.

Mananggit said there are 30 ABTC across Central Luzon where people could seek treatment and ask queries about rabies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.

In the Philippines, rabies is commonly found in dogs.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.

Mananggit further explained that the early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort.

“As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, increase in saliva, difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water).

Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms,” CDC explained. (Mark Manuel)