DOH notes increase in rabies cases in 2024

DOH notes increase in rabies cases in 2024

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 07:29 PM June 05, 2024

rabies cases doh

This photo taken on July 15, 2019, shows a pet dog being injected with rabies vaccine during the local government’s anti rabies campaign in Manila. September 28 is the World Rabies Day to spread awareness about rabies prevention. (File photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Rabies cases in the country increased in 2024, after the Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 169 cases as of May, which is higher than the recorded infections in the same period last year.

READ: How to prevent rabies and what to do after an animal bite


According to the DOH in a statement, the total recorded human rabies cases from January to May 2024 is 13 percent higher than the 150 infections recorded in the same period last year.


“Among the cases reported, 156 (92 percent) had a history of dog bites, while 10 (6 percent) cases with a history of cat bites, and the remaining 3 cases reported a history of bites from other animals,” said the DOH.

As of May 11, Soccskskargen reported the highest cases at 21, followed by Calabarzon and Bicol with 18 cases each.

The infections resulted in a total of 160 deaths or a case fatality rate of 94.67 percent. The remaining nine cases, on the other hand, are still being verified by the department.

The DOH then reminded the public to vaccinate their pets against rabies at three months old, and every year after.

“Rabies is a viral infection that can be transmitted to humans through animal bites or even scratches, most commonly by dogs and cats,” said Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa.

“Death caused by rabies is inevitable once infection begins, that’s why we urge all pet owners to be responsible and get their pets vaccinated against rabies. This not only protects the animals but also significantly reduces the risk of transmission to humans,” he added.


Furthermore, the department also reiterated its call for an additional budget of at least P110 million for the Department of Agriculture to give way for the widespread animal vaccination program.

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