Rabies Fast Facts PDF Print E-mail
Reported Rabies Cases in the Philippines for 2007 were 833 (with a rate of 1 per 100,000 population

Region IV-A had the highest incidence of rabies (in 2007),



Region X had the 2nd highest incidence of rabies



Region III ranked 3rd in national rabies morbidity in 2007 with 190 cases, (rate of 2 per 100,000 population)


Bulacan had the highest number of reported rabies cases for 2007 with a total of 126 but the rate was lower at 6.4.
Tarlac ranked second at the regional level with an incidence of 30 and a rate of 3.2. Reported Rabies Cases in Angeles City
for 2007 was 26 (with a rate of 8.3, the highest in the region)
Reference: Field Health Service Information System Annual 2007
National Epidemiology Center, Department of Health, Manila


Rabies is a dangerous disease of animals transmissible to humans through bites, scratches or licks on open wounds. It is transmitted to other animals through contact with virus-laden saliva from a rabid animal. In the Philippines, the most common sources of infection are dogs and cats.

The Department of Health (DOH) estimates that 300 to 600 Filipinos die of rabies each year. At least  50% of victims are children aged 5 to 14 years. DOH recognizes that rabies remains a public health problem in the country despite the enactment of Republic Act 9482, otherwise known as the Rabies Act of 2007 which seeks to eradicate rabies in the Philippines by 2020. In 2007, there were 833 reported rabies cases in the country with a rate of 1.0 per 100,000 population.

In recent years, the Philippines ranked fifth in the rabies list of the World Health Organization in terms of prevalence in a specific area. We had gained notoriety among international communities as a nation with high endemicity (or prevalence) of rabies. In 2001, a long-time resident of the UK contracted rabies after being bitten by a dog in the Philippines. He died in a London hospital. In 2006, two Japanese nationals were infected after being bitten by dogs in the Philippines. The last indigenous case of rabies infection in the UK occurred in 1902 while that of Japan was in 1954. Both countries have declared themselves rabies-free a long time ago.

Rabies is highly and easily preventable in this day and age but once the signs and symptoms appear, rabies is almost always fatal and irreversible. Poypoy has not died in vain. His shocking and dramatic exit from this world has opened our eyes to the realities surrounding this disease.

Rabies is a highly misunderstood disease among Filipinos. Only a few know that an inch-long scratch or a playful lick on an open wound can cost a person his/her life. Many, especially those in rural areas, still believe that garlic and a few drops of vinegar can cure rabies. Tandoks or faith healers - people believed to have the power to eliminate the virus from the body with the use of a stone (called batong buhay) or by sucking with the use of a carabao horn or an animal bone are widely accepted as a wiser and more economical alternative to post-exposure treatment or vaccination.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 March 2009 16:33

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