By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Iloilo Provincial Health Office (PHO) is reporting five human rabies deaths  during the first three months of 2021.

Image/CIA (cropped)

This compares to seven human rabies deaths for all of 2020.

The deaths were reported in the following towns: San Dionisio, Ajuy, Estancia, Calinog, and Sara.

According to Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon, acting chief of PHO, most of the deaths did not seek traditional medicine, instead consulting manugtandok (traditional healers).

“We have an abundant supply of vaccines, and these are free and available in our district hospitals and Rural Health Units (RHUs),” said Quiñon.

Rabies is an acute viral infection that is transmitted to humans or other mammals usually through the saliva from a bite of an infected animal. It is also rarely contracted through breaks in the skin or contact with mucous membranes.


What type of symptoms will it cause in humans?

Initially, like in many diseases, the symptoms are non-specific; fever, headache and malaise. This may last several days. At the site of the bite there may be some pain and discomfort. Symptoms then progress to more severe: confusion, delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations. If it gets this far, the disease is nearly 100% fatal.