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What is Rabies?
Rabies is a deadly infection of the nervous system that is caused by the rabies virus. The rabies virus is carried in the saliva of infected animals and is usually transmitted to humans though an animal bite. The virus may also spread to humans when an infected animal's saliva touches the mucous membranes (moist skin surfaces, like the mouth or inner eyelids) or contacts an area of broken skin - a cut, scratch, bruise, or open wound. Any warm-blooded animal may be a carrier of the virus.
Rabies remains a public health problem in the Philippines. Our country ranked third worldwide in rabies incidence in 2000, despite government promises to rid the country of the problem by 2020. Approximately 300 to 600 Filipinos out of every 1 million die of rabies every year. Of the 400,000 animal bite victims, 75% require post-exposure treatment. In addition, nationwide data gathered from Animal Bite Treatment Centers of the Department of Health indicates that children have the highest risk of being bitten by rabid animals.