The Department of Health (DOH) announced that Puerto Princesa City has maintained its zero rabies case record, making it the only town in the MIMAROPA region to do so.
Puerto Princesa had no rabies cases among the 284 cases reported in the Philippines in January. Since 2017, the city has maintained this status.
Despite the absence of cases, being “rabies-free” is a different status granted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) upon application and detection that animals in the area do not have the viral disease.
Dr. Alethea De Guzman of the DOH’s epidemiology bureau warns that areas with no rabies cases should not be complacent, particularly because those recorded this year, are becoming more fatal.
“Kadalasan ang isang rabies case ay mga deaths na po. Wala tayong nakikita na rabies na buhay po. Ibig sabihin 100% ang case fatality o tiyansa na mamatay ang isang taong may rabies” she said.
DOH also reminded the public that cases of rabies are not isolated to dog bites, specially those unvaccinated ones. 8% of the 284 cases were from cat bites and the other 6% were tagged as unspecified which may include but not limited to any warm blooded mammal.