The Deal with Rabies

I want to write something on rabies especially with the summer just around the corner. It would seem that there are more scratch/bite cases during summer than any other season. I don’t really know the logic behind this but maybe because kids are home and are inclined to play with their pets or animals in the streets. Hence, more susceptible to bites or scratches.

When I was younger animal bites (not the big ones) or scratches were treated by rubbing on them some garlic (minced). But, at this day and age, with the known irreversible damages of rabies, one cannot rely on garlic. This is my personal opinion…when you get scratched — no matter how small, for as long as it bleeds … go have an anti-rabies shot. More so, if you got bitten.

Some tips when you get scratched or bit:

1. Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap — preferably the anti-bacterial kind like safeguard.
2. Go to a hospital for the 1st shot of anti-rabies and anti-tetanus.
3. Strictly follow the timing of the next 4 shots of anti-rabies vaccines. These shots are spaced strategically. For instance, when I got bit on April 17. The schedule of my anti-rabies shots were:

Day ——— Date
0 ——— 04/17
3 ——— 04/20
7 ——— 04/24
14 ——— 05/01
28 ——— 05/15

The anti-rabies vaccine is administered on the right or left deltoid (or the upper arm where we get the usual vaccine shots). If you got your shot on your right deltoid on Day 0, the next shot would be on the left deltoid, then back on your right and so on.

For the first shot, you’ll get 2 shots right away, one for anti-rabies and one for anti-tetanus. The rest of the shots are anti-rabies.

4. Don’t fail to take your antibiotics (should be given one) as directed. This is usually 1 capsule taken 4x a day for 5 days.

5. Get a booster shot every year or on the anniversary of your 1st shot. In case you got scratched or bitten again, you won’t have to go through the whole routine of having 5 shots.

The anti-rabies vaccine costs around P2,700 at drug stores. There is a fee for the administration of the shots by a doctor.

RMEMBER: ANIMAL BITES OR SCRATCHES ARE NOT TO BE IGNORED BECAUSE THE CONSEQUENCES OF RABIES ARE FATAL.

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