Rabies awareness month in Los Baños

By Clarea John S. Intal and Maria Sarell D. Vicente

The Municipality of Los Baños is holding this month its second observance of Rabies Awareness Month. Leading the celebration is the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist.

This year’s theme is “Makiisa sa baranggayan kontra rabies, maging responsableng pet owner” in line with encouraging all residents to do their part in fighting rabies as responsible pet owners.

Through the activities lined up for this month, the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist aims to strengthen awareness in terms of prevention and control of rabies.

The activities for this year’s Rabies Awareness Month Celebration are the following:

  • Motorcade (March 1)
  • Poster Making Contest (March 5)
  • Quiz Contest (March 12)
  • Dog and Cat Show (March 20)
  • Free Spray and Castration (March 27) and
  • IEC Campaign: Registration Vaccination

Why vaccinate?

Rabies is an infectious disease naturally transmitted between animals. It also has a progressive neurological infection and is deadly when left untreated.

Rabies affects warm-bloodied animals, such as dogs–this is why it is endemic in most countries.

Globally, there are 60,000 deaths per year due to rabies. A 2017 report estimates that 15 million people per year are also exposed to rabies and receive post-exposure prophylaxis.The same report says that rabies can be diagnosed using histopathological methods, which involve examination of tissues of a suspected rabies-infected animal.

An example of a gold standard test for rabies is direct immunofluorescent test (dFAT). It tests for rabies virus proteins in the animal’s brain tissue.

Rabies is endemic in the Philippines. In 2011, there were 202 reported deaths while in 2010 there were 247.

According to WHO, a third of the deaths are children who are 14 years old or younger. Half of the rabies exposure in the Philippines are also among school children.

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