13 deaths due to rabies in Sibu division from Jan 2021-May 2022

A dog being administered with the anti-rabies vaccine during a vaccination programme in this file photo.

SIBU, May 20: The Sibu division, which comprises Sibu, Selangau, and Kanowit districts, chalked up 13 human deaths from rabies from January 2021 to May 2022.

Of the number, seven were reported in Sibu, followed by Selangau (4) and Kanowit (2).

In a statement, Sibu Disaster Management Committee chairman Wong Hee Sieng said the majority of the deaths were reported in the outskirts of the towns, with 12 cases or 92 per cent.

“Two of the victims were below 12 years old — one was 11 years old while the other was just three years old, who is also the youngest.

“Meanwhile, the oldest was 64 years old,” he said.

Wong explained that 12 of the victims were bitten by unvaccinated dogs, while one was bitten by a vaccinated dog kept as a pet but left to roam outside the owner’s house.

He said the victims did not receive proper treatment after being bitten by the dogs.

Meanwhile, Wong advised residents to adopt preventive measures and controls recommended by the Sibu Divisional Health Office to prevent human deaths caused by rabies.

These measures include avoiding taking in feral dogs as pets, vaccinating pets, and ensuring they are not left to roam around without being monitored.

If bitten, it is vital to wash the wound with soap immediately, let the water flow over it for at least 15 minutes, and seek immediate treatment at the nearest health facility. — DayakDaily