Filipinos are known for being fond of pets like dogs because we have a saying that it is a man's best friend. However, these cute little pets may sometimes unintentionally scratch or bite us that may cause to the transfer of the rabies virus to us.
As defined, rabies infection is caused by the rabies virus which is spread through the saliva of infected animals. They also added that any mammal can transmit the rabies virus.
Rabies virus is dangerous especially if not treated immediately because it may lead to complications to the victim. According to the World Health Organization, the country is one of the top 10 countries with rabies problem. Moreover, rabies virus is responsible for the deaths of 200 to 300 Filipinos annually. They also mentioned that animal bite cases are increasing for the past 5 years.
This rapid rate of rabies virus cases are very alarming considering that most cases are among kids. But how can we really avoid such cases and what can we really do to avoid it?
Here are tips you can do to avoid rabies virus:
- Avoid playing on your pet's mouth or teasing them
- Avoid hurting them because they might feel in danger and fight back
- Maintain control of your pets to reduce the exposure to wildlife
- Report any stray or ill animals to animal control
- Don't approach or avoid making contact to wild animals
- Be a responsible pet owner.
- Have your pet dog immunized by a veterinarian against rabies at 3 months old and every year thereafter.
- Never allow your pet dog to roam the streets.
- Take care of your pet dog: bathe it; give it clean food; and provide clean sleeping quarters.
Nevertheless, the best thing to do if there are any instances that you get bitten by an animal is to consult a doctor and seek help.
World Health Organization – Western Pacific Region. Rabies in the Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.wpro.who.int/philippines/areas/communicable_diseases/rabies/continuation_rabies_area_page/en/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How can you prevent rabies in people?. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/prevention/people.html.