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Checks conducted on dog bite cases in affected areas
Posted on : 04 Jul 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING: The state government will immediately purchase RM100,000 worth of rabies vaccines for human use to help state Health Department manage the rabies outbreak in Serian, says Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He also said eight teams from the state Health Department are now conducting home-to-home checks to detect cases of dog bites at the affected areas.

“From April 1 (this year) till July 2 (last Sunday), the cumulative number of dog bite cases in Serian district was 34 cases. From June 29 until July 2, the Sarawak Health Department has actively monitored the cases involved in Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu, Kampung Krait, Kampung Lebor and Kampung Remun.

“Sarawak Health Department is also working closely with state Veterinary Services (Department) to ensure the infection of rabies virus in humans can be constrained and no further transmission occurs outside the area,” he said yesterday.

Dr Sim, who is a minister with watching brief on health, also revealed that were no new cases reported positive for rabies virus as at yesterday.

He said the number of confirmed cases infected with rabies virus remained at three as previously reported, involving two siblings aged four and six from Kampung Paon Rimu and a seven-year-old girl from Kampung Lebor.

“Health education activities related to rabies and its preventive measures have been implemented for the residents of these villages either through a talk to the public or individually during case detection activities,” he said.

On behalf of state Health Department, Dr Sim advised all residents in Serian, especially those in the affected areas, to take precautions to avoid getting infected with rabies.

“Stay away from wild animals to decrease the risk of getting bitten, especially the children. If you are bitten by a dog, make sure the wound is washed with plenty of water and soap immediately and get treatment at the clinic or hospital nearby as soon as possible,” he said.

He said rabies is a type of disease caused by Lyssavirus, from animals such as dogs infected with rabies virus.

He also said the virus is transmitted through dog bite wound, wound exposed to saliva, body fluids or tissue from the animal to humans.

“The incubation period is three weeks to three months from the bite of rabid animal until the symptoms appear. Individuals infected with rabies virus will experience clinical symptoms such as fever, body ache, headache, afraid of water (hydrophobia), paralysed and coma. If the signs of the disease appear, almost all rabies patients can die,” he said.

Dr Sim advised members of the public to call Sarawak Health Department hotline 082-443248/082-441780 from 8am to 5pm if they have queries about rabies.