A total of 12,101 cases of people being bitten by animals were recorded between January and September this year in Zamboanga City, data showed courtesy of the Department of Health in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
In other areas, Zamboanga Del Norte tallied 7,473; Zamboanga Del Sur 6,141; Zamboanga Sibugay 5,893; Isabela City 1,053; and Jolo town, Sulu 307.
Nieto Fernandez, rabies program coordinator of DOH Region 9, said animal-bite cases have increased, because of a massive information dissemination campaign and continuing initiatives to include rabies program.
" 'Yung cases natin tumaas kasi pati 'yung mga scratches, pumupunta lahat ng patient sa ating animal bite treatment center," said Fernandez.
(Animal bite cases also increased due to patients who were scratched and come for aid in our animal bite treatment centers.)
DOH-9 also recorded 12 deaths this year, but only two of these were confirmed to be rabies cases.
Fernandez added that most numbers of animal bite cases were registered during the dry season when children are on a vacation.
"Mostly, 15 years old and below 'yung affected dito sa Zamboanga Peninsula," Nieto added.
DOH-9 advised those bitten by animals to immediately wash their wounds with soap and running water for at least 10 to 15 minutes, and seek medical treatment from accredited animal-bite treatment centers for administration of anti-rabies vaccine.