2 new rabies-infected areas declared

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KUCHING, Nov 15: Two new areas in Bau have been declared as rabies-infected, bringing the total rabies-positive localities in Sarawak to 58.

According to the state disaster management committee, the two areas are Kampung Monggag in Krokong and Kampung Stenggang in Jalan Bau-Lundu.

“These two areas have been declared as the 57th and 58th localities in the state to be rabies-infected, considering that they are situated outside the 10km radius from other rabies-positive areas,” it said in a statement today.

The committee advised the public not to let their pet dogs roam freely. Dog owners are also refrained from moving their pets away from rabies-infected areas without written permission from the State Veterinary Authority.

A fine of not more than RM5,000 or a jail term not exceeding three months or both will be imposed on individuals found guilty of violating Section 37 (2) and (3) of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.

Following these latest findings, the 58 rabies-infected areas in Sarawak comprise seven localities in Kuching, three in Samarahan, Serian (22), Sri Aman (4), Betong (2), Sarikei (4), Sibu (2), Mukah (4), Bintulu (3), Miri (6) and one in Kapit.

Limbang remains the only division that is free of the rabies outbreak.

Since the rabies outbreak was declared in Sarawak on June 30 last year, the authorities have removed 13,184 stray dogs off the streets, with a monthly average of 775.

The authorities have also administered vaccination on 98,620 dogs, 8,508 cats and 56 other animals, with a monthly average of 6,304 since July 2017.

A total of 293 samples collected from dogs and 20 from cats have tested positive for rabies. The cumulative cases of animal bites since the outbreak last year have reached 18,222, which is an average of 83 cases daily.

Since April last year, the state Health Department has so far reported 16 confirmed human cases of rabies in Sarawak, 15 of whom have succumbed to the disease and one on life support due to neurological complications. — DayakDaily