Rabies claims fourth life in Sarawak

PETALING JAYA: A five-year-old child from Kampung Ampungan, Serian become the fourth and latest victim to die from the rabies outbreak in Sarawak, the Health Ministry confirmed.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the child passed away at 2.05pm today from rabies encephalomyelitis.

"The total number of rabies cases now stands at four, where all have succumbed to the disease. No new rabies cases have been reported," he said in a statement today.

The victim was bitten on May 27, and was brought to the Serian Hospital for treatment on July 3 after the child came down with fever and complained of pain in the arm and exhaustion.

The child was later transferred to the Sarawak General Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit on July 4.

The first two victims, a six-year-old girl and four-year-old boy, both siblings, from Kampung Paon, Sungai Rimu, Serian, died at the Sarawak General Hospital on July 4.

A third victim, a seven-year-old child, died on July 13 at the same hospital.

On the recent case of two children from Kuala Petang, Taiping, Perak being bitten by a rabid dog on July 4, Noor Hisham said both cases showed no clinical symptoms and are now in stable condition.

On another incident involving a six-year-old boy, who was bitten in Serian but later warded in the Malacca Hospital, Noor Hisham said based on initial lab tests, the victim tested negative for rabies.

"Hence, we would like to inform that as of now, there are no rabies-positive cases among humans in Melaka and Perak," he said.

Noor Hisham also urged those with a recent history of being bitten by animals to visit the nearest clinic or hospital for a check, and for those living in Serian or nearby areas to take the necessary precautionary measures.