LEGAZPI CITY – The Albay Provincial Health Office (PHO) has discouraged animal bite victims from seeking traditional or "quack" treatment for rabies as four deaths have already been reported from January to September this year due to the deadly viral infection.
In an interview on Thursday, Jan Edmund Dominic Bailon, chief of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU), said all the fatalities did not seek proper treatment in a hospital or animal bite center and two of them opted for the "tambal" method.
The quack cure involves the incision of small pieces of carabao horn into the wound apparently to "extract" rabies.
"The four death cases were from the municipalities of Guinobatan, Bacacay, Tabaco City, and Daraga. Lahat po hindi nagpa-vaccine (All of them were not vaccinated), both human and animal," Bailon said.
He said the four cases were clinically diagnosed based on signs and symptoms of rabies infection.
Bailon said the best treatment for animal bites is vaccination.
"Still, vaccination. We have two animal bite clinics in the province that offer free vaccination. The Municipal Agriculture Office provides free vaccination for dogs and cats," he said.
Last month, the PHO conducted a provincewide information campaign through barangay assemblies to inform the public on the importance of vaccination against rabies in case of an animal bite.
In 2022, the Albay PHO recorded two deaths caused by rabies in the municipalities of Tiwi and Manito. (PNA)