Senior bitten by pet dog dies of suspected rabies 

A senior citizen who was bitten by his pet dog died from suspected rabies, a Provincial Health Office (PHO)   representative said Thursday, June 6. 

The 65-year-old male from Sagay City died   on June 3, Rafael Marmolejo, PHO Provincial Rabies Nurse Coordinator, said. 

The victim was bitten by his dog on his right thumb. The family claimed the dog was vaccinated but after the incident the pet disappeared, Marmolejo said. 

The victim did not seek treatment after he was bitten, but was brought to the Lopez District Farmers Hospital Inc. Sagay City a month later because he was having difficulty swallowing water. 

The patient was given hypertensive medication as the hospital personnel only learned later that he had been bitten by a dog, Marmolejo said. 

There are 27 hospital personnel who are being assessed for exposure to the patient, he said. 

The senior citizen was the second suspected rabies death in Negros  Occidental this year.

The first fatality was a 9-year-old boy who was bitten by an unvaccinated pet dog in Moises Padilla in January. The dog was then butchered and eaten that resulted in 38 persons subjected to post exposure treatment, Marmolejo said.

Negros Occidental had 32,000 animal bite cases for the entire 2023, and 10,893 for the first quarter of 2024, he added. 

Out of the 10,893 animal bite cases, 7,552 or 69.33 percent involved dogs,   followed by cats with 3,280 or 30.11 percent, Marmolejo, said. 

The remaining 61 cases or .56 percent involved monkeys and other animals exposed to rabies, he said.*    

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