First Recorded Case of Cat Rabies Fatality in Ilocos Norte

Cat Rabies Case
Cat Rabies Case

The Ilocos Norte Provincial Health Office has confirmed the first recorded case of a man dying from cat rabies in the province. Dr. Rickson Balalio, officer-in-charge of the Ilocos Norte PHO, reported that the victim, whose identity was not disclosed. He was said bitten by a cat nearly two months before succumbing to the disease.

Dr. Balalio urged individuals bitten by animals to seek immediate treatment at the animal bite center located at the Gov. Roque Ablan Senior Memorial Hospital. He assured that free anti-rabies vaccines are available, and there is an ample supply of the vaccine.

According to a report on the GMA television news program “Saksi,” the victim was identified as Arnel Marcos, aged 51. Marcos was bitten by a cat on October 28, 2023, but he did not seek immediate medical attention. Instead, he attempted self-medication by cleaning and washing the wound before applying papaya extract.

On November 2, 2023, the victim received an anti-rabies shot and antibiotics at a hospital. But he did not follow up with check-ups. Several weeks later, he experienced weakness and hydrophobia (fear of water). His wife brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with rabies.

Tragically, the victim passed away and was interred immediately. This case highlights the importance of seeking prompt medical attention after bite of not just a cat, but any animal to prevent the onset of rabies.

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