BAGUIO CITY, Aug. 2 (PIA) — The rabid dog incidence in the municipality of Sablan is being contained with the declaration of state of emergency following the immediate response of the local government through mass vaccination.
Sablan Vice Mayor Arthur Baldo said a state of emergency for the whole municipality was declared last July 24 through Resolution Number 19-142 after the confirmation of three rabid dog cases in a matter of two months in barangay Poblacion, Sablan.
Baldo said he called for an emergency meeting for the declaration of a state of emergency in order to avail of the Quick Response Fund under the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Fund.
At that point in time there is a need for money to spend to undertake necessary strategies and measures to contain the further spread of the rabies virus in the municipality and the adjacent municipalities of the province including La Union, he added.
Reported by the Municipal Agriculture Office and the Rural Health Unit, the dogs were confirmed positive by the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory with five human bite cases reported from June to July this year, he added
The first confirmed rabid dog case was in June 22 with three human bites followed by another one in July 11 registering two human bites and the last one in July 23 but with no bite incidence.
There were no fatalities but the victims aged three to 75 years old were administered anti-rabies vaccination.
Baldo said the first case was a puppy which originated from Burgos, La Union but stayed for two months in the municipality. But he said the contraction of the virus may not be attributed to the origin of the puppy.
The proximity of the first case to the second case was about 400 meters while the distance of the second to the third case was about 15 meters, Baldo said.
Anti-rabies vaccination were also administered to 48 individuals reported to have been exposed within the premises and neighborhood of the then suspected rabid dogs including those who assisted in bringing dogs, drivers, technicians to the laboratory for diagnosis.
The local government purchased vaccines for the mass vaccination, and vaccines for those exposed, dog collars and leash distributed to the residents to prevent stray dogs from contracting the disease, including purchase of protective gadgets and gloves.
Governor Melchor Diclas said the provincial government through the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) augmented the purchase of vaccines in support to the mass vaccination of the municipal government.
The Department of Agriculture also extended its support through purchase of needles for vaccination.
The two-day mass vaccination held on July 27 and 28 was administered to more than 1,700 to both canine and feline population within a five kilometer radius of the rabies incidence.
Mobilized during the mass vaccination were Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, tanods, MDRR, the PVET office personnel including hired vaccinators according to PVET Head Dr. Miriam Tiongan.
The PVO also conducted neutering of pets as a strategy in controlling dog population.
Continuing information education campaigns on rabies awareness and prevention are also being held for various stakeholders in the area.
Tiongan said the incidence of rabid dogs is alarming with its zoonotic meaning it is transmissible to human beings and rabies is a hundred percent fatal.
It is only now that there were three cases of rabies recorded in just a matter of two months time, she added.
With all the efforts the provincial government is doing such as the yearly massive animal vaccination to prevent the occurrence of rabies is beyond control as rabies knows no boundaries, she further said.
Tiongan appreciated the concerted efforts of the municipal government in responding to the incident together with the barangays, health workers, local government in responding to the incident which could set an example in other local governments with similar situation.
Baldo said the state of emergency will only be lifted following the advise from the Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Veterinarian Office, said Baldo. (SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet )
Source: PIA Feed