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PIA Press Release

PESU Kalinga renews call for public support vs dengue, rabies

TABUK CITY, Kalinga (8 February) -- The Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) Office is appealing once again on the public to maintain cleanliness in their homes and community, and to have their pet dogs vaccinated with anti-rabies and for bite victims to seek proper medical attention.

PESU officer Jose Pardito Jr. made the appeal as the provincial health office received five reported cases of dengue cases for the month of January this year, while 14 of 28 canine heads submitted for Fluorescent Anti-Body Test (FAT) from January 1 to December 31, 2007 tested positive of rabies.

Pardito said that out of the five cases, four were diagnosed as having dengue hemorrhagic fever with one patient manifesting bleeding. All cases were from Tabuk City.

He said that the public should be wary that during the last quarter of 2007, rain and typhoons have hit the province and this could have caused the possible resurgence of dengue carrying mosquitoes in some areas of Tabuk.

According to Pardito, the efforts of the provincial government to adopt the environmental control method in eliminating dengue carrying mosquitoes like the continuous implementation of the clean-up drive and no fogging policy, have placed the province a safer place against the threat of deadly disease where from the more that 500 cases in 2005, the province has only recorded 58 cases in 2007 with no death incident.

Recently, Governor Floydelia Diasen has also issued an executive order to conduct a community cleaning activity every Friday to sustain the cleanliness around the province.

Pardito disclosed that victims of the dogs that tested positive were all given Tissue Cultured vaccine (TCV) to prevent the possible deadly effect of the rabies virus.

While reminding bite victims to seek proper medical attention, Pardito also appealed to local government units to help health personnel in ensuring that medicines are readily available in all animal bite centers around the province, citing that if patients could not immediately get proper medication, a delay in the administration of needed vaccines could endanger their lives.

The government he said has allotted funds for the provision of one free shot per patient and for the supply of the needed vaccines.

Meanwhile, out of the 725 animal bite cases last year, Tabuk recorded the highest with 505, followed by Pinukpuk and Rizal. Based on the attack rate, however, Rizal has the highest considering its low population.

With the massive information education campaign (IEC), more cases are now being reported to the health personnel compared to the previous years which he said could have contributed to the increase of reported bite indents this year.

"We are glad to inform that more people are now becoming aware of the real danger of not properly treating animal bites, as indicted by the lowering rate of incidents seeking the traditional healing method or tandok", he said.

As part of the health department's continuous campaign against the spread of rabies, he is reminding the public to submit their pet dogs for anti-rabies vaccination with the help of the vets from the Department of Agriculture, observe proper first aid method, seeking medical attention when bitten by an animal. (ggd/PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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