ANTI-RABIES SHOT. A field worker vaccinates a dog against rabies in this undated photo in Ilocos Sur. A massive anti-rabies vaccination is rolled out in the province to prevent the spread of the viral disease. (Contributed)

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Sur Provincial Veterinary Office (PVet) has started deploying vaccinators in various parts of the province to ensure all dogs get anti-rabies shots.

PVet chief Dr. Donna Mae Rosario said Wednesday the intensified drive on dog vaccination supports the local government unit's efforts for rabies prevention and control as mandated by Republic Act 9482 or the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007.

“We are doing house-to-house to vaccinate more dogs in Ilocos Sur. Those who are near our office may visit us too so we can accommodate them on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said in a phone interview.

In Narvacan town, for example, the PVet turned over anti-rabies vaccines on Tuesday to speed up the vaccination of at least 1,000 dogs in Barangays Maroso, Estancia, Codoog and Sarmingan, respectively.

Rosario reminded pet owners to become responsible and ensure that their pets are kept from stressful situations, such as exposure to hot daytime temperatures or confinement in a cage all day.

The massive dog vaccination in Ilocos Sur is among the services of the PVet in collaboration with the different municipal agriculture offices in the province to prevent the spread of rabies.

Previously, the PVet has recorded rabies cases in the towns of Caoayan, San Vicente, and Cabugao.

Records from the National Rabies Prevention and Control program showed that there are about 300 to 600 Filipinos who die of rabies every year.

Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and warm-blooded animals, with dogs being the most commonly involved.

Early signs include fever and tingling at the bite site, usually followed by violent excitability, a fear of water, paralysis in some parts of the body or loss of consciousness.

Once symptoms appear, the disease is nearly fatal, usually manifesting one to three months after the bite. (PNA)