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If you are fond of taking care of pets, or are in an area where dogs and cats freely roam the streets, you are at a higher risk of getting bitten by stray animals and exposed to the rabies virus.  Animal bites must be taken seriously because when left untreated, can cause irreversible infections and in worse cases, death.  According to the Department of Health, rabies is considered to be a neglected disease; it is 100% fatal yet also 100% preventable.  It is regarded as a significant public health problem.

One of the reasons why people neglect to see a doctor after they have been bitten by an animal is because they think the vaccines are expensive.  This is true especially if you intend to get the treatment from a private hospital.  In cases when the bite is almost superficial, nothing more than a scratch or a gash, people think it is nothing significant and therefore, can be passed off as just some wound that will heal on its own.

Exposure to rabies is a serious matter and all measures must be taken to arrest its spread in a person’s circulatory system.  It is for this reason that Philhealth has in its long list of care packages, the Animal Bite Treatment Package (ABTP) amounting to P3,000.  This provides additional financial assistance to members who have been exposed to rabies and needs to complete the series of vaccines to help fight the virus.

What are included in the ABTP?

The ABT package includes payments for Post Exposure Prophylaxis:

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Rabies immunoglobulins
  • Tetanus toxoid and anti-tetanus serum
  • Wound dressing
  • Supply of antibiotics

It covers the following animal type bites as well as the wound’s category, as recommended by the DOH:

  • Dog and cat bites, as well as cow, pig, horse, goat, bat, and monkey bites.
  • Category II exposure on the head and neck areas.  These are the bite types that resulted to superficial gashes and had minimal to no bleeding at all.
  • Category III
      • Bites that resulted to deep wounds or gashes that bled.
      • Exposure to a person infected by the rabies virus through bites, or contamination through mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, mouse, or genitals.
      • Exposure to an animal’s carcass.
      • Ingestion of animal meat contaminated by the rabies virus.

Do not take animal bites for granted, whether among children or adults.  This could lead to serious physical and mental illnesses, and in most cases, death.  Infected individuals can also easily transfer the virus to other people.

For more information on the Philhealth’s Animal Bite Treatment Package (ABTP), you may call the Philhealth call center at 02-441-7442.

Reference: www.philhealth.gov.ph

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