The City Veterinary Office will strengthen its anti-rabies campaign this year after it loses its rabies-free city. The last rabies case of the city was in 2004.

TACLOBAN CITY-After 14 years of being a ‘rabies-free city’, the local government of Tacloban through the City Veterinary Office (CVO) will further heighten its anti-rabies vaccination and reclaim its “rabies-free” status, which was revoked following the first human rabies death this year.
City Veterinarian Dr. Eunice Alcantara, in an interview, disclosed that it is unfortunate that the city had its first recorded human transmission of rabies after years of maintaining the said tag.
Alcantara said that the recorded positive human rabies case, who was admitted to a government hospital died on June 30, 2020, is a 27-year-old male from Barangay 94, Tigbao.
The man was bitten by a dog in the first week of May and unfortunately, days after the biting incident, the dog likewise died, CVO reported.
According to the city veterinarian, the owner of the dog gave monetary assistance to shoulder the expenses of the victim. However, the latter used the aid for personal interest.
“We were also able to trace and vaccinate 10 persons which he came in contact with — his five drinking buddies, his parents, two children, and his partner,” Alcantara stressed.
Being determined to reclaim the status of Tacloban City as a rabies-free, the official is encouraging pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated to be ensured of a rabies-free community in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis.
Alcantara explained that this canine rabies is more dangerous than the COVID-19 due to its 100 percent fatality rate.
“No victim has ever recovered from rabies, especially when symptoms appear,” she stressed.
Meantime, she added, a person who becomes a victim of a dog bite should immediately wash the wound part with soap and water, and seek medical attention at the Animal Bite Centers located at the Tacloban City Hospital or the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC).
Sections 15.1, 27, and 28 of City Ordinance 2006-9-264 also known as the Animal Code of Tacloban City state that no animal shall be permitted to roam or walk upon public places, and pet owners are required to let their pets be registered and vaccinated yearly against rabies.
Tacloban City’s last recorded rabies case was in 2004. With that, CVO requests the cooperation of the pet owners, as violators will be dealt with accordingly. (C.MERIN, TACLOBAN CITY INFORMATION OFFICE)