Residents warned vs rise of rabies cases in General Santos City
GENERAL SANTOS CITY Veterinary personnel here warned residents on possible spike in rabies cases that usually during the summer season.
Dr. Emilio Gargaran, disease control division chief of the City Veterinary Office, said records showed that dog bite cases are usually on the rise during warm weather. “Residents should be extra careful when handling dogs as the intense heat could cause changes in their behavior,” Gargaran said, adding, most victims are owners themselves of dogs, but a significant number also involve stray dogs.
He called on pet owners to avail of the local government’s free anti-rabies vaccination program, especially for dogs that are older than three months. Gargaran said they have deployed teams of vaccinators to the city’s 26 barangays to conduct anti-rabies vaccination.
The city has an estimated dog population of 60,000. The World Health Organization has recommended that at least 80 percent of an area’s dog population be vaccinated annually for rabies.
Two years ago, the city was cited as a hotspot for rabies cases, specifically among dogs, and landed in the top five among highly urbanized cities.