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Declares a rabies outbreak in Ilocos Norte

Following five deaths in 53 barangays, predominantly in the cities of Batac and Paoay, Ilocos Norte declared a rabies outbreak in the province on Monday.

During a meeting of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP or provincial board) on Monday, provincial veterinarian Loida Valenzuela defended the passage of the draught Provincial Resolution 2023-05-155 by stating that “the outbreak declaration is meant to mobilize the whole community to take action as we aim to vaccinate the 66,000 dog population in the province.”

According to Valenzuela, the province will require more than PHP3 million for the aggressive vaccination of dogs in all barangays and the testing and upkeep of a diagnostic laboratory to stop the spread of rabies.

According to Valenzuela, the vaccine program is currently underfunded.

This has led to a collaboration between the provincial health and veterinary offices to launch a more active campaign against dog bites.

The provincial health officer, Dr. Josephine Ruedas, stated that human immunizations must also be purchased in a separate interview.

This is concerning. People should not eat dog meat, and treating bite victims with so-called traditional practices like ‘tandok’ or traditional faith healing is not appropriate, she continued.

At least 3,000 vaccination vials donated by the Department of Health have been handed to several PhilHealth-accredited Animal Bite Treatment Centres around the province.

To ensure the safety of the neighborhood, village officials are also instructed to keep an eye on stray dogs in local neighborhoods and set up a dog impound.

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