Cebu tops animal bites cases in Central Visayas as human rabies cases dips

March 5, 2015 11:53 am 

CEBU CITY, March 4 — Cebu province has the highest number of cases of animal bites among other provinces in Central Visayas last year, even as human rabies cases in the region dropped, a health official said.

Jeffrey Doyongan, assistant regional rabies program coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, said at least 20,796 animal bites were recorded in Cebu last year.

With the 59,816 recorded cases in Central Visayas last year, Cebu has the highest number followed by Negros Oriental with 7,522; Bohol with 6,506 and Siquijor with 372.

Doyongan said the reported cases in each province do not include those victims who did not seek treatment.

The DOH 7 said the number of animal bite victims is increasing every year since 2010.

The records show that in 2010 there were 26,298 cases; 28,964 in 2011; 34,678 cases in 2012; 50,755 cases in 2013; and 59,816 cases in 2014.

Although the number of animal bite victims had increased, the DOH 7 noted that cases of developing rabies disease among humans are decreasing in the region.

The DOH 7 said there were 13 cases in 2010 but the number dropped to 10 in 2011.

The number even dipped to seven in 2012, four in 2013 and three in 2014.

March has been declared Rabies Awareness Month because it is the time of the year where animal bites often occur.

Jocelyn Tabotabo, of the DOH rabies prevention and control program, said animal bites usually occur during summer when children are not in school.

She said summer heat could also affect the behavior of animals.

Tabotabo urged the public to practice responsible pet ownership by having their pets vaccinated. (PNA)

LAP/EB/

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