Skip to main content

Puppy lap and that lethal lickin' goodness

HAGAR the Horrible and Snert. Phantom and Devil. Tin-Tin the boy detective and Snowy. Pepe and Pilar and Bantay. A gadabout Saint Roque and his nameless cur that has left a trail of wondrous tales in the more bucolic parts of Nueva Ecija for healing the sick or wounded with a few licks or so. From storybooks to oral folklore, the bonds that link dog and man endure.

And there was the late movie idol Fernando Poe, Sr. He was strong as an ox, statuesque with a physique made immortal in the bronze Oblation statue that stands as colossus in every campus of the University of the Philippines nationwide. A rabies-infected puppy of his licked his hand that had an open wound. Such a licking sent him to an early grave.

Indeed, rabies kills.

While more deaths may have been induced by attempts at howling out "My Way" in cheap videoke joints throughout the country, rabies-caused deaths hereabouts focused global attention on the Philippines. There was an increase in rabies fatalities in the ‘90s—337 died in 1996, 321 in 1997 and 362 in 1998.

Of 115,223 people bitten by dogs in 2005, 271 turned up dead. By 2006, the number of fatalities was pruned down by a few dozens— and such has caused RP’s No. 4 global rank in rabies incidence to slip two rungs lower to No. 6.

We haven’t licked rabies incidence. Not yet.

Eager beaver town councils have poured barrels of spittle cranking out ordinances against dogs and threats of fines on dog-owners, even unleashing ragtag dog catching teams in their territories to pounce on stray curs. But not much effort has been plied to educate people on how to reduce the risk of contracting rabies from dogs.

The Fernando Poe, Sr. puppy-inflicted death can be a telling point that the Department of Health reiterates: "Many people still believe that rabies is only transmitted by bites from stray dogs. In fact, 90% (of infections) are caused by pet dogs and about 2% by pet cats."

That means dog owners themselves are the more likely victims of their own pets—unless these are vaccinated against rabies.

Too, anyone cutting up a dead rabid dog can infect themselves with the disease if they touch their eyes or lips while they have traces of the dog’s fluids on their hands, the DOH explains.

The incubation period for rabies can range from five to 10 years, although 95% of those infected develop the disease within one year. Once a patient starts to show symptoms he or she usually dies within 10 days—there is no treatment. Patients brought to the country’s only rabies ward in the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila are generally lashed down—or sedated-- until they breathe their last. Most victims are young men or boys bitten after taunting dogs.

There are some eight million dogs throughout the country—and about 10,000 are believed to be infected with rabies each year. DOH has 400,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine that won’t likely be enough to immunize the nation’s canine population.

A five-shot anti-rabies regimen for dog-bite victims can hurt—each shot can cost a few thousand pesos. However, Family Vaccine and Specialty Clinics (FVSC), an outfit which imports, distributes and administers vaccines through a chain of 40 clinics set up in 15 provinces nationwide have seized on the opportunity to make anti-rabies vaccines less of a pinch on patients’ pockets. Each shot costs P350 in the FVSC chain of clinics.

The clinics—called RNMD Specialty Clinics—have been established in Aklan, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Capiz, Cavite, Ilocus Sur, Iloilo, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Palawan, Pampanga and Rizal.

These specialty clinics, manned by a team of doctors and nurses trained by the DOH Research Institute of Tropical Medicine will initially focus on treatment of rabies.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Every single cell of my body's happy

I got this one from Carmelite Sisters from whose school three of my kids were graduated from. They have this snatch of a song that packs a fusion metal and liebeslaud beat and whose lyrics go like this:

"Every single cell of my body is happy. Every single cell of my body is well. I thank you, Lord. I feel so good. Every single cell of my body is well."

Biology-sharp nerds would readily agree with me in this digression... Over their lifetimes, cells are assaulted by a host of biological insults and injuries. The cells go through such ordeals as infection, trauma, extremes of temperature, exposure to toxins in the environment, and damage from metabolic processes-- this last item is often self-inflicted and includes a merry motley medley of smoking a deck a day of Philip Morris menthols, drinking currant-flavored vodka or suds, overindulgence in red meat or the choicest fat-marbled cuts of poultry and such carcass.

When the damage gets to a certain point, cells self-destruct. T…

Singkamas

MAYAMAN pala sa tinatawag na phytochemicals o sangkap na panlaban sa samut-saring sakit ang singkamas—na sa alias nito sa Latin ay talagang kahindik-hindik na ang dating, Pachyrhizus erosus. Tunog erotikong suso sa dulo.

Jicama ang pangalan nito sa pinagmulang lupalop. Mula pa Mexico, nakarating sa ating pampangin nitong kasagsagan ng kalakalang Manila-Acapulco. Jicama. Sumablay ang bigkas dahil kasintunog ng “higa kama.” Nabalbal. Naging singkamas sa ating wika.

Pampigil sa salakay ng kanser, pampababa ng antas ng masamang cholesterol sa dugo, likas din na antibiotic o pamuksa ng mikrobyo sa katawan. Pampalakas sa likas na panlaban ng katawan kontra sakit. Anti-oxidant o pampahupa sa pagiging amoy-lupa. Karaniwan ding gamit na sangkap sa siomai at lumpia.

Hubad na lumpia! Opo, hindi hubo’t hubad ang tawag sa naturang lutuin. Hubad lang. Masarap kung may kalahok pang budbod na mani.

Kaya nakagawian nang talupan ng mga hayok. Ilalantad ang kinis-labanos na laman na pinipithaya (kahu…

KASI NANLABAN