What started out as a persistent fever, turned out to be an incurable disease


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MANILA, Philippines - Parents of a young boy were filled with fear when they found out that the persistent fever he had turned out to be an indication of rabies, an incurable disease.

Rabies is incurable disease
Rabies is incurable disease | Photo Courtesy: ABS-CBN's Red Alert/File photo

It was September last year when an 8-year-old boy named Carl Agsalud had fever. His father, Dennis dismissed the sickness thinking it was just flu and will just go away.

When Carl’s fever persisted, he was sent to the hospital. But, the doctor too diagnosed it as common fever. Dennis said, “Naka-confine siya sa ospital. Lagnat lang daw, sabi ng [doktor], kaya binigyan lang ng antibiotic.”

With his temperature still high, Carl started experiencing numbness in his legs. His father explained, “Nanigas yung kanang paa niya, namanhid daw, hindi niya daw maigalaw, hindi niya maihakbang, tapos hindi siya makadumi tsaka makaihi.”

Within two days of the boy’s admission in the hospital, there were noticeable changes in his behavior. Carl suddenly became scared of water and sunlight.

When Carl’s test results came, he tested positive for rabies.

Dr. Ferdinand de Guzman of San Lazaro Hospital explained that rabies is one of the several incurable diseases. He said, “Isa ito (rabies) sa mga tinatawag na end-stage disease. One hundred percent fatal po ‘yan.”

Since it has no cure, doctors would always remind the public to be wary of scratches and bites from dogs and cats. It also important to pay attention to any changes in behavior.

Dr. De Guzman revealed, “Kapag takot na sa tubig, takot na sa hangin, ito po ang mga sintomas ng rabies.”

“Usually ang mga kasama sa bahay, napapansin nila, restless ang pasyente. Uneasy daw po. Galaw nang galaw. Balisa,” the doctor added.

WATCH: Red Alert: Fatal Rabies Infection (video courtesy of ABS-CBN)


March is Rabies Awareness Month

Rabies remains to be a serious public health problem in the Philippines. As of 2017, the country is still included in the list of top 10 countries with the highest incidence of rabies. The Department of Health (DOH) estimates that out of 100,000 Filipinos who experience dog bites, 200 to 300 of those die from rabies every year.

There is no cure for rabies. For an infected human, symptoms usually take 2-8 weeks until symptoms start to manifest. Death will eventually follow within 7-10 days.

Since it has no cure, rabies needs to be prevented. Pet owners need to keep their pets vaccinated for rabies, keep them away from their homes and properties, spay or neuter.

This month, you may inquire from your local barangay unit for the schedule of mass vaccination and other rabies awareness activities.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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