Dogs are said to be man’s best friend. But when they and a wide variety of animals are unfortunately affected by the viruses that cause rabies, then they become dangerous threats and bringers of near-certain death. The local government of GenSan spares no efforts in keeping the pets of resident generals free from rabies. Such can be evidenced in the busy state of the City Veterinarian’s Office, where plenty of dogs come to have their routine shots. Still, there are periods when rabies flares up in the city, much like what is now happening since the beginning of the year.
Minda News reports that no less than 10 cases of rabid dogs have been recorded by personnel of the GenSan Office of the City Veterinarian since January 2019. The head City Veterinarian Dr. Antonio Marin notes that these rabid cases were discovered from 44 samples of dog heads examined for them by the regional animal disease diagnostic laboratory of the Department of Agriculture SOCCSKSARGEN. The CVO has responded to this notable spike in canine rabies infections by intensifying its own anti-rabies vaccination drive in turn.
Dr. Marin noted that the discovered rabid dogs were among a batch that had been voluntarily given up by their owners for exhibiting possible symptoms of the dreaded rabies, particularly after having been involved in bite accidents from January. The origins of the examined animals were evenly distributed all over the 26 barangays that comprise the city of GenSan. In an interview on radio Marin said, “We already conducted blanket vaccination for all dogs in the streets and communities where the rabid animals came from.”
While no new cases of humans contracting rabies was recorded this year so far, there has been a significant number of Generals who got bitten by dogs and other animals instead. By the time April 2019 came to an end, Dr. Marin has it that around 2,000 people in GenSan got animal bites, many of whom got treated at the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital – Animal Bite Treatment Center. It is this fact that drives the City Veterinarian’s Office vaccination initiative, which coordinates with barangay officials to reach the household level. It has been estimated that the total dog population of GenSan – pets or otherwise – is at 70,000 strong. Of these, the CVO has performed vaccinations of 19,239 dogs starting from January to April 2019. Marin assures Generals that their office has more than enough supply of anti-rabies vaccines to cover all dogs around the city all throughout the year.
Image courtesy of ABS-CBN News