The Department of Health (DOH) cautions against dog bites this summer, especially because 50% of the recorded cases are of children below 15 years old.
In a radio interview, Dr. Raffy Deray of the National Rabies Prevention Control Program of the DOH said that the number of animal bite cases increases during summer.
“Yung aming palagay po 'yan ay dahil karamihan ng mga bata ngayon, nasa bakasyon po sila. At 'yung ... chance na makagat sila ng aso, tumataas (We speculate that it’s because most children are on their summer break now. And so the chances are greater that they’ll get bitten by the dogs), said Deray.
In most cases, the animal bites are found around the victim's head and neck, making the bites more dangerous. This also poses an increased risk of contracting the rabies virus as the face is highly innervated, he added.
According to Deray, kids are prone to getting bitten by dogs because of their inability to protect themselves against animal attacks. They also don’t understand that some of their actions could provoke animals, like touching their tails.
In the event that your child does get bitten, the doctor advises that first aid be given by immediately washing the bitten area with soap and water. This would bring down the risk of rabies by 50% as the virus is found in the animal’s saliva.
“As soon as possible, pagkakagat sa kanila, hugasan po 'yung sugat with soap and water for at least 10 minutes, at pagkatapos po noon ay dumulog na po sila sa pinakamalapit na health facility para po matingnan ng doctor (As soon as possible, after they’ve been bitten, the wound should be washed with soap and water for at least 10 minutes, and then, the child should be immediately brought to a health facility to be seen by a doctor), said Deray.
He adds that not all dog bite cases are caused by stray dogs. Many victims also report being bitten by their own pets.
In this light, parents are advised to ensure that their house pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Source: April 22, 2015. "Children more prone to animal bites during summer". abs-cbnnews.com