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CHO: Pets bite more than strays


City Health Officer-In-Charge Dr. Dulce Amor Miravite yesterday appealed to local residents who are pet owners to be more responsible in handling and taking care of their pets after a report reveals that it is a fact there are more pet animals bite compared to that of stray ones.

Dr. Miravite sounded the appeal in lieu to the recent shortage of anti-rabies vaccine being experienced not only in Zamboanga City but in the entire country lately.

"Mostly, if you look into the cases, pet animals have more biting incidents compared with cases of stray dogs," Miravite emphasized

"Supplies of our rabies vaccine are still limited," she stressed.

Accordingly, the production of said anti-rabies vaccines, even on the national level, still faces difficulties.

"The numbers of patients that we see just this October 1 to 5 are 526 patients for anti-rabies, with 140 new cases and 386 follow-up, the OIC city health officer bared.

"So, as much as possible, we want to avoid getting bitten by these animals because once bitten we need to acquire the vaccine...If we cannot increase the supply of vaccine yet, let us prevent the biting incidents," she advised.

It can be recalled that as early as of last month, it was reported by the City Health Office (CHO)  is facing a very limited supply of anti-rabies vaccine or Verorab, a medication used to treat hundreds of animal bite patients in the city.

Dr. Rosanna Arquiza, City Rabies Coordinator, said that only 20 vials are left to be given to patients, numbering a hundred per day."

Despite the city having an allocated fund of P4.2-million for the purchase of the anti-rabies vaccine, the current shortage was reportedly caused by several failed biddings due to the unavailability of the vaccines globally. (By Kimberly Yusay)

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