The rabies outbreak in Sarawak has now claimed its fifth victim after a 52-year-old man succumbed to the virus.
What to do if bitten by stray or pet:
- Immediately wash the bite with soap and running water to flush away traces of animal saliva
- Seek treatment immediately at nearest clinic or hospital
Cautionary measures to prevent rabies:
- Vaccinate pet dogs or cats against rabies
- Avoid contact with strays
- Seek treatment at veterinary if pets unwell or aggressive
- Report to local authorities strays near residences
- Maintain good hygiene by washing hands after contact with pets
Tinding Lambang of Kampung Remun, Serian, was bitten by a dog in early May and was treated for weakness in the legs, numbness, back pain and state of confusion. He was admitted to the hospital on Jul 11 and confirmed to have the virus on Jul 18. He died last night at 10.34pm.
The four other people from Serian who died from the disease were children.
“The cause of death is rabies with underlying tuberculosis. Until today (July 24) there have been five cases of rabies which was identified, and all victims have died from the virus. All the incidences were reported in Serian, Sarawak, and there have been no new cases reported so far,” Health director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement this morning.
Twenty areas in three parts of Sarawak – Serian, Sri Aman and Kuching – have been declared as rabies infected areas by the state government.
“Control and preventive measures, including tracking dog bites, are being carried out by Sarawak State Health Department and district health offices. Until July 23 as many as 770 animal bites comprising dog and cat bites in Serian, Sri Aman and Kuching. All cases that were detected have been treated,” he said.
The ministry has advised the public in these areas to take cautionary measures to prevent rabies, including if bitten by either an aggressive pet or stray to immediately wash the bite with soap and running water to flush away traces of animal saliva. Immediate treatment should be sought at the nearest hospital or clinic.
“Ensure pet dog or cat have been vaccinated against rabies and avoid contact with stray animals. If pets seem unwell or aggressive, seek treatment at veterinary and report the incident to local Veterinary Department. Report to local authorities if there are stray dogs near residences and always maintain good hygiene by washing hands after contact with pets,” the statement read.
Jul 13, Third Rabies Victim Dies