KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11): A 42-year-old man became the latest victim to die of rabies in Sarawak, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said the man died at 6.53 am on Oct 20 at the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS), and was confirmed to be infected with the rabies virus through laboratory tests conducted by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) on the same date.
The man was admitted to HUS on Oct 15 after suffering from muscle weakness and inability to walk apart from sleep loss due to hallucinations and swallowing difficulties.
“Investigations have found that there is no history of dog or other animal bites in this case. He has seven cats with five of them receiving anti-rabies vaccine from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), a day after experiencing the symptoms.
“All his cats are healthy and there is no change in behaviour. No animal has been found sick or dead within six months in the locality of the case’s house,” he said in a statement, today.
Dr Noor Hisham said the latest case brought the total cases in the state this year to five and total accumulative number of rabies cases in Sarawak to 27 since rabies outbreak was declared on July 1, 2017.
He said although the case could not be linked to the history of dog or animal bites, it was generally known that rabies infection was caused by animal bites infected with the rabies virus (rabid animal).
“Sarawak is still not rabies free. Make sure that pets to be given anti-rabies vaccine.
He also advised the public to seek immediate treatment at a nearby health clinic or hospital if bitten by animal.
Those who are bitten by a dog or other animal must wash the bitten body parts with running water and soap for at least 15 minutes to remove the saliva, he said. – Bernama