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Saturday, April 13, 2024

DA: Rabies infections in Marinduque, Pampanga not seriously alarming

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THE Department of Agriculture (DA) rules out rabies epidemics in Marinduque and Pampanga provinces, but nonetheless cautioned against eating meat of animals infected with the virus.

In a phone interview, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Constante Dante Palabrica said although the reported cases in the two provinces may be a cause for concern, provincial veterinarians are closely monitoring the situation on the ground.

“I reported this because it is unusual, but it’s not alarming. The important thing is to contain the rabies among cats and dogs,” he added.

According to the DA, recent reports in Marinduque included three cases of rabies among cattle and six cases of rabies among pigs; while around 20 cows in Pampanga were reported infected in 2023 due to rabid dog bites.

Palabrica clarified however, that such incidents do not happen naturally to animals.

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“It’s not true, it takes another rabid dog to transfer the virus to another dog or cat. Perish the perception that it naturally occurs among animals, he said.

Among the symptoms of rabies infection include drooling, dizziness, and uneasy behavior for infected cows, while pigs tend to bump their heads and snouts.

The DA official also said it is closely monitoring the possible transmission of rabies to wildlife which might more alarming.

He emphasized the urgency of anti-rabies vaccination among pets to ward off transmission of the virus to animals and humans, which could be potentially fatal.

To date, the Department of Health has reported over 80 deaths due to rabies among humans from January to March this year.

Although there is no reported negative effect yet on individuals who ate one of the infected cows in Marinduque, Palabrica said that it would be wiser to avoid its consumption.

“Of course, just to be safe, we know this is zoonotic). We might as well not eat its meat,” Palabrica said.

“We normally boil beef and pork before we eat it so the virus has less chances to survive because of the heat. But we do not encourage them, that’s why we’re very careful in the NMIS (National Meat Inspection Service,” he added.

Palabrica said affected animals should be buried for disposal to prevent possible spread through consumption

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