Kg Gawang Empili declared 30th rabies-infected area in state

The rabies virus spreads through the saliva of infected animals. According to the World Health Organisation, about 99 per cent of cases of humans infected with rabies are the result of dog bites.

KUCHING, Feb 12: Kampung Gawang Empili in Simunjan was declared as a new rabies-infected area today, making it the 30th such location in Sarawak.

A statement issued by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee said this total encompassed areas in five divisions namely Serian (21), Kuching (4), Semarahan (3), Sri Aman (1) and Sarikei (1).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said: “As the village area is out of the 10km radius from the nearest infected area, it was declared as the latest and new rabies-infected area.”

Uggah who is also the State Disaster Management Committee chairman advised anyone who got bitten by a dog to get immediate treatment at a government clinic or hospital.

“The Sarawak Veterinary Department would like to remind the public not to allow their pets, either vaccinated or not, to mix with wild animals and to be vigilant for any changes in behaviour (such as) from tame to violent, biting any moving object, being afraid of water and light, being solitary, overly salivating, restlessness or aggression.”

The rabies infection in humans was first reported in Sarawak in June last year, and so far, seven positive rabies virus cases have been detected, resulting in the death of six victims.

According to the statement, to date, 51,693 pets comprising 43,638 dogs, 7,990 cats and 45 other animals in the state have been vaccinated to control the spread of the rabies epidemic. — DayakDaily