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Published On: Fri, Mar 14th, 2014

Philippines: South Cotabato declares rabies outbreak

In the aftermath of a human rabies death in Sto. Nino town in South Cotabato, Mindanao, provincial health officials declared a rabies outbreak, according to a Philippines News Agency report today.

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Image/CDC

Dr. Byron dela Cruz, officer-in-charge of the South Cotabato Provincial Veterinary Office, said Friday they have launched a massive anti-rabies vaccination among pet animals in Barangay Poblacion of Sto. Nino in a bid to prevent the possible spread of the disease to other areas.

He said the vaccination drive mainly covers the two-kilometer radius of the residence of 44 year-old Arnold Eskita, who died of rabies complications last March 4.

Eskita, who is so far the first rabies fatality in the province this year, succumbed exactly two months after being bitten by his own rabid dog, he said.

Though a relatively rare cause of death in the United States, 55,000 people die globally from this dreaded disease, mostly in Africa and Asia. That’s at rate of one person every 10 minutes.

And that shouldn’t be the case because rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt and appropriate medical care.

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the saliva or tissues from the nervous system from an infected mammal to another mammal.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease. Zoonotic diseases can pass between species. Bird flu and swine flu are other zoonotic diseases.

The Department of Health (DOH) considers a single case of rabies infection as an outbreak due to its high fatality rate.

In the entire Region 12, the DOH’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU) recorded a total of 19 cases and deaths due to rabies last year.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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