PUTRAJAYA MAR.13: Two deaths caused by rabies were reported to have occurred among human beings in Sarawak bringing the total to 33 with 31deaths since the rabies epidemic was announced in the state on 1st July 2017.
Director General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said, they are only two cases still alive involving children who had received early medical treatment.
Dr. Noor Hisham said, the first rabies victim was a male citizen aged 52 who had denied being bitten or scratched by a dog or any mammalian.
“The victim had caught and killed a reared dog at his factory workers’ house on 17th October 2020 after it had bitten two workers. However the dog’s carcass was not handed to the Sarawak Veterinary Service Department (DVS) for further investigation.
“On 31st January 2021, he had received a treatment and was admitted to the Sibu Hospital following pain in his chest, numb at his right hand, vomiting and difficulty in breathing. His health began to deteriorate and needed respiratory aid on 5th February 2021.
“He died on 8th February and the cause of his death was rabies infection. Meanwhile the two workers who had been bitten by the dog were on follow up and monitored by the health staff,” said Dr. Noor Hisham in a statement here today.
Dr. Noor Hisham added the diagnose carried out through a laboratory test by University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) had found that the victim was confirmed positive rabies.
According to Dr. Noor Hisham the second death was a Malaysian aged 54. He was referred to the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) on 5th March 2021 after his legs were weak, pain in the whole body, fever, nausea and no appetite.
“His condition became worst and needed respiratory aid on 7th March 2021. Based on the history given, the victim had been bitten by his dog on 26th December 2020 on his right chest when he was handling it. On the same day, the dog was taken away by the local authorities (PBT) to be killed but there was no sample taken for rabies test.
“The victim had never received any treatment after being bitten by his dog. The PCR rabies test on the saliva sample that was carried out by UNIMAS on 7th March found that he was positive. The victim died in HUS on 7th March 2021 after being infected by rabies,” said Dr. Noor Hisham.
The Ministry of Health in the statement advises the people in Sarawak to take precaution and various steps when handling a dog or other animal as follows:- 1) If bitten or scratched, wash the affected part with running water and soap for 15 minutes to wash away the traces of saliva 2) Immediately get treatment from a health clinic or nearest hospital if bitten by own dog that is aggressive or wild dog even though during the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the COVID-19 pandemic and c) If the animal changes to be aggressive, do not try to catch or touch the animal. Lodge a report to the nearest DVS for further action. –Malaysia World News