DOH reports spike in rabies cases

DOH reports spike in rabies cases

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:48 AM June 07, 2024

DOH reports spike in rabies cases


The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded the public to have pets vaccinated against rabies and seek vaccination if they are bitten amid an increase in recorded human rabies cases.

The DOH said there have been 169 human rabies cases from January to May this year, which is 13 percent higher compared to the reported 150 cases in the same period in 2023.


READ: DOH notes increase in rabies cases in 2024


As of May 11 data from the DOH, Region XII (Soccsksargen) reported the highest (21) number of cases. This was followed by Regions IV-A (Calabarzon) and V (Bicol) with 18 cases each.

Among the cases reported, 156 (92 percent) had a history of dog bites, while 10 (6 percent) cases had a history of cat bites, and the remaining three cases reported a history of bites from other animals.


Of the 169 reported cases, a total of 160 deaths have been reported, resulting in a case fatality rate of 94.67 percent. The status of the remaining nine cases reported is still being verified.

“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,” Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said.

In April, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said his agency would request Congress at least P110 million in additional budget for next year for the vaccination of 22 million dogs and cats to eradicate rabies in the country.

“The DOH supports this call for additional [Department of Agriculture (DA)] budget allocation for the widespread animal vaccination program,” the DOH said.


Under the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007, the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry is mandated to lead in the control and eradication of animal and human rabies.

The law also directs local government units to ensure that all dogs are properly vaccinated against rabies and, where there are stray dogs, to strictly enforce dog impounding activities.

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TAGS: DoH, rabies

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