Boy dies of rabies, taking death toll to 21

A dog being administered anti-rabies vaccine during a vaccination programme. - filephoto

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KUCHING, Nov 8: The Health Ministry has confirmed the death of a five-year-old boy on Nov 2, 2019 was due to rabies today, bringing the death toll to 21 since the outbreak of the disease in Sarawak.

In a press statement today, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that a laboratory test was conducted on a sample from the case and it was confirmed to be rabies positive on Nov 6.

“With the confirmation, Sarawak have recorded a total of 22 rabies cases (21 deaths), and six of the cases were recorded this year alone,” he added.

The five-year-old boy, who was from Kampung Mambong, Jalan Penrissen, was seen inactive since Oct 13 and had complained of having a sore throat.

He was taken to health clinic on Oct 18 and later admitted to Sarawak General Hospital on Oct 21 after his condition deteriorated.

The Health Ministry thus reminded all parents to advise their children to be on alert and immediately notify their parents if they are bitten or scratched, or have any of their open wound licked by a dog, whether it is a stray or domesticated pet dog.

Dr Noor Hisham pointed out that the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak has reported that out of every five dogs in Sarawak, two were rabies positive, and therefore, preventive measure should always be emphasised.

The Ministry and Sarawak Health Department will continue to work together with the Sarawak government, DVS Sarawak and other agencies to ensure that the prevention and control measure of rabies virus infection are fully implemented.

However, the success and prevention of rabies in dogs and humans depends on the cooperation and strong commitment from all walks of life.

All parties are also required to cooperate in implementing preventive measure which was design and planned by the government to ensure an effective prevention and treatment of rabies infection.— DayakDaily