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First aid for animal bites: rabies shots not garlic

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag January 22,2017 - 10:32 PM

GET anti-rabies shots if you are bitten by a dog, cat or rat.

Dr. Joanri Riveral, Medical Officer III of Department of Health (DOH-7) said rubbing garlic on the bite wound will not kill the rabies virus that can affect the brain.

“Look for the nearest animal bite treatment center and get an anti-rabies shot,” Riveral advised.

It is common belief that rubbing garlic on the bite wound would neutralize toxins from a dog bite.

Last year, the DOH announced that a full course post-exposure prophylaxis equivalent to eight doses of anti-rabies vaccines will be available for free in all animal bite treatment centers nationwide.

Riveral said anti-rabies shots will be given on the first, third and seventh day after the victim is bitten.

If the animal dies, the victim will be given another anti-rabies shot on the 28th day to counter the toxins the virus produces, as it is fatal.

There are 40 animal bite treatment centers in Central Visayas.

In Cebu, these can be found at the Cebu City Health Center, Mandaue City Health Center, Eversley Child’s Sanitarium and General Hospital (Mandaue City), Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, and in the health centers of Asturias, Tuburan, Toledo City, Bogo and Danao City.

Riveral said that an immediate anti-rabies shot can prevent the virus from going to brain which could be fatal.

According to DOH website, rabies is a human infection that occurs after a trans-dermal bite or scratch by an infected animal, like dogs, cats or rats.

“It considered to be a neglected disease, which is 100 percent fatal though 100 percent preventable. It is not among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the country but it is regarded as a significant public health problem because it is one of the most acutely fatal infection and it is responsible for the death of 200-300 Filipinos annually,” the website post reads.

When the virus infects the brain, he can be sensitive to water, air and light.

“The person can be restless. That’s why in hospitals there are isolation rooms for these patients,” Riveral added.

If the person has not availed of any anti-rabies shot after he was bitten, Riveral advised the victim to wash the wounds (running water) for 10 to 15 minutes with clean soap.

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