Ilocos Norte vet office reports first rabies case in 3 years

LAOAG CITY — The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has intensified the monitoring of stray dogs in Pagudpud town to control rabies.

PVO chief Dr. Loida Valenzuela said Friday they were alerted of one Pagudpud patient found positive with rabies recently.

According to Valenzuela, Ilocos Norte has been eying to be officially declared as a rabies-free province but with the recent incident, it may be held for some time.

Ilocos Norte has eradicated rabies cases for the past three years. This was done through the Provincial Rabies Control Council (PRCC), in partnership with the PVO and international organization Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC).

Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and warm-blooded animals, with dogs being the most commonly affected.

Early signs include fever and tingling at the bite site, usually followed by violent excitability, a fear of water, paralysis in some parts of the body, or loss of consciousness. Once symptoms appear, the disease is nearly fatal. They usually show one to three months after the bite.

PRCC records show that from nearly 20 canine rabies cases in 2011, cases of both human and canine rabies have been at zero since 2014.

As of this posting, the PVO has tapped the Bantay Rabies sa Barangay Volunteers (BRBV), organized since 2015 to monitor such cases.

Valenzuela reiterated to residents to care for their pets properly and ensure that they are kept from stressful situations, such as exposure to hot daytime temperatures or confinement to a leash or cage all day.

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