Health officials have reported an increase in human cases of rabies virus infection in the first two months of the year (2014) in the city of Surigao on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
The three human cases were from different areas of the city: the first case was a 50-year-old male from Barangay Mabini who died on 22 January; the second, an 8-year-old boy from Barangay Canlanipa who died on 11 February; and a 54-year-old female from Barangay Serna who died 26 February 2014. The source of infection was not reported in the news item.
Health officials are working with the veterinary office to encourage the public to bring their dogs for free rabies immunisation; particularly those in the areas known to be affected by rabies.
Advice for Travellers
The Philippines is classified by WHO as a high risk destination for rabies. Travellers should be aware of the risk, avoid all contact with animals and report any bites immediately for assessment. Pre-exposure rabies vaccine is available for those considered to be at risk.