Rabies, animal bite cases alarm Negros Occidental health execs
BACOLOD CITY — The Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office (PHO) has expressed alarm over the increasing number of persons infected with rabies in the province in the first half of 2022.
Rafael Marmolejo III, rabies coordinator of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said on Monday animals, most of them dogs, have bitten 14,232 persons in the province from January to June 2022 or an increase of 25.49 percent compared to the same period last year.
Nine other individuals in the province succumbed to rabies, a contagious and fatal viral disease of dogs and other mammals that causes madness and convulsions, transmissible through the saliva to humans.
Last year, Marmolejo said only four persons died of rabies in Negros Occidental.
The first symptoms of rabies include weakness or discomfort, fever, headache, prickling or an itching sensation at the site of the bite. Symptoms then progress to cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation.
Marmolejo said most fatalities failed to seek immediate treatment after being bitten by animals.
Those bitten by dogs or other animals, he said, should wash their wounds with running water and soap for 10 to 15 minutes and apply betadine on the wound.
“Patients should also seek immediate help at any of the 21 animal bite treatment centers in Negros Occidental or see a doctor,” Marmolejo said.
If a patient has hydrophobia, or fear of water, and aerophobia or fear of fresh air, it is 80-percent certain that the person is infected with rabies.
But Marmolejo said only a confirmatory test from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine could determine if a person has rabies,” Marmolejo said.