MANILA, Philippines – After being bitten by a dog two months ago, Justin Gamosa, 10, of Sagay City, Negros Occidental died of rabies on June 11, Wednesday. Nine others were also bitten by the same dog that was killed by its owner.
Justin’s brother, Leo, Jr., was also bitten by the dog and took anti-rabies vaccine after Justin died. Others bitten by the same dog were Leticia Asotes, 35, and her children Rodel, 17; Ronald, Jr., 9; Kaye, 7; Lance, 5; Lyndon, 15; Archie Mendoza, 16 and Jasper Castor, 7.
Prior to this incident, a 10 year old boy from San Carlos City also died from the same disease last month. A woman from Cadiz City and another boy from Sagay City also died of rabies.
Provincial Veterinary Officer Renante Decena said on GMA Network that Gamosa failed to seek immediate medical attention after the incident.
Decena also stated that rabies outbreaks had been declared in three cities and two towns in Negros Occidental after dogs from these places tested positive for the virus. The city then conducted dog vaccination in the areas where rabies victims were recorded. 10,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccines are set to arrive in Negros Occidental.
Data gathered from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) showed there are 219,000 dogs in Negros Occidental but only 24,000 or about 10 percent have been vaccinated.
As to human cases, there are 4,000 reports of dog bites in Negros Occidental, but Ernell Tumimbang, Provincial Health Officer (PHO), said on GMA Network that this is not considered alarming yet.
-KLYTE FAYE C. VELOSO
LNU ABCOM INTERN