COTABATO CITY-- Nine people have died because of suspected rabies in the first quarter of the year in Region 12, the Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday.
The number is 80 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
The DOH-12\'s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit recorded only 5 rabies cases and deaths from January to March last year.
North Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office head Dr. Eva Rabaya said North Cotabato tops the the list with 4 rabies cases, followed by Sultan Kudarat with 3 cases and South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces with one case each.
In the first quarter of 2013, North Cotabato also recorded 4 rabies cases and deaths while Sultan Kudarat had one.
According to DOH-12, the rabies cases involved residents aged 22 to 71. Eight of the 9 fatalities were men.
All 9 victims were bitten by rabid dogs, 4 of which were domesticated.