Rabies: Dog-bite incidences still high in Sarawak

09 Oct 2019 / 19:14 H.

KUCHING: The number of animal-bite cases especially by dogs and cats is still high in Sarawak with an average of 40 to 60 cases per day, despite having entered the third year since rabies outbreak was declared in the state in June 2017.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said as of Oct 3, 20 people had died of rabies with the latest case involving a man from a longhouse in Mukah.

He said the 64-year-old man died on Aug 19 while undergoing treatment at Bintulu Hospital, after being bitten by a rabid dog taken from a relative in Kanowit.

From July 1, 2017 until Oct 3, 2019, of the 21 cases of rabies infection, 20 were fatal, he said in a statement, here today.

This year, Dr Noor Hisham said, there were five confirmed cases of rabies infection on human and a large number of dogs and cats involved tested positive for rabies.

Dr Noor Hisham said as of Sept 30, 138 (32.8%) of the 420 samples taken from dogs and cats showed up positive for rabies.

“All these rabies cases can be avoided if these animals are well cared for. A person bitten should immediately clean the wound to remove the saliva of the animal before quickly seeking treatment,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham reminded dog owners to have their pets vaccinated against the disease and also advised them to not take dogs with unknown vaccination status. — Bernama

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