KORONADAL CITY -- The city government alerted residents against the emergence of rabies cases as authorities recorded one confirmed death during the first quarter of the year due to the deadly virus.
Dr. Charlemagne Calo, city veterinary officer, said Monday the entire city is currently under "code red" as they continue with intensified efforts to contain the disease and prevent new infections.
Calo said the lone fatality, which was recorded last month, was a five-year-old boy from Barangay Zone 3 here.
Calo said they already conducted a series of vaccination activities against rabies for all warm-blooded animals, especially pet dogs and cats, in the area to stop the possible spread of the disease to adjacent communities.
"There were already some confirmed cases of rabies in some of our neighboring municipalities so we're also monitoring that," he said in a statement.
The official said the anti-rabies vaccination activities are also ongoing in other barangays within the city.
Aside from Zone 3, he said the community-based vaccination campaign for this month covers Barangays Paraiso and Morales.
The vaccination team will cover Barangays Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 4 in May; General Paulino Santos and Avancena in June; Caloocan, New Pangasinan, Rotonda, Mabini, Esperanza, Cacub and San Jose in July; and, Assumption and Topland in August.
The city veterinary office has documented a total of 13,576 pet dogs in the entire city based on a census conducted in January.
"Aside from the door-to-door vaccination, we also vaccinate pet dogs and cats in our office at the city demonstration farm," Calo said.
He urged dog and cat owners to make sure that their pets are vaccinated against rabies as well as monitor and take care of them properly.
"Under the Rabies Act, the owners of unvaccinated pets that will bite humans will be responsible and cover all the costs for the treatment of the victims," he said.
He advised parents to also monitor the activities of their children in the ongoing summer vacation as cases of animal bites usually increase during the period. (PNA)