Health DG: Another new rabies case in Serian

KUCHING: A new case of rabies or the mad dog disease virus was detected on a five-year-old girl from Kampung Ampungan in Serian, Sarawak, raising the total of cases to four so far.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said medical test results showed that the girl was tested positive for the virus after she was bitten by a dog on May 27 in Kampung Saroban, located in a 10km radius from the village where the third case was detected.

He said the child showed the symptoms of the disease such as fever, painful muscle spasms on the left arm and looking less active on July 3, before she was taken to the Serian Hospital and later referred to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here.

"The case had been tested positive through the laboratory tests on July 11. She is now being treated at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the SGH due to her critical condition.

"As for the third rabies case, the child (a seven year-old girl), who is being treated at the ICU of the same hospital, is still in critical condition," he said in a statement here today.

On July 4, a brother and sister, aged four and six, from Kampung Paon, Sungai Rimu in Serian died at the SGH after they were confirmed to have contracted rabies.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Serian Health Office and the State Health Department had been conducting a mass detection programme on the virus at 86 settlements in the district involving 3,284 houses, and interviewed 7,583 people on the history of dog bite.

"A total of 92 cases of being bitten by dogs had been detected in the district and these people had been treated. Educational programmes pertaining to the rabies have also been given to the residents," he said.

The Director-General also advised members of the public in the affected area to seek immediate treatment at the nearest clinic or hospital if they had been bitten by dogs, as well as to get anti-rabies vaccination for their pet dogs.

Meanwhile, according to the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee, the Veterinary Services Department had vaccinated 1,183 pets in seven villages in Serian involving 241 dogs, 929 cats and 13 other animals. — Bernama