Lawas Bazaar is latest rabies outbreak area with two cases

Rabies can be spread through animal bites. — file pic

By Nur Ashikin Louis

LIMBANG, June 11: Lawas Bazaar here has been announced as the latest rabies outbreak area following the detection of two rabid dog cases.

It was disclosed that the decision was made by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas yesterday (June 10).

“As this area is outside the 10km radius of the area that has been declared, therefore we declared it as a new area, making it the 71st rabies outbreak area,” he said in a statement.

To date, Sarawak has identified 71 total rabies outbreak areas namely, in Kuching (7), Samarahan (4), Serian (22), Sri Aman (6), Betong (3), Sarikei (5), Sibu (3), Kapit (1), Mukah (6), Bintulu (5), Miri (7) and Limbang (2).

Uggah also disclosed that a total of 205,898 anti-rabies vaccinations have been injected by the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (JPVS) so far and the Department will continue the vaccination programme throughout the State.

He further reminded dog owners to make sure their dogs are given an anti-rabies vaccine shot every year.

He informed that the rabies vaccine injections are available at any Divisional Veterinary Office or private Veterinary clinic.

“Failure to do so is punishable by an offense under Section 40, Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 by a fine not exceeding RM2,500 and the dog can be arrested and subjected to Targeted Removal if without proof of anti-rabies vaccination.

“Leaving a dog roaming free will expose the dog to the rabies virus and taking the dog out of the rabies outbreak area without written permission from the State Veterinary Authority is an offense under Section 37, and is punishable by a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three months,” he added.

He also reminded that pet owners should spay their dogs or cats to control the reproduction of the animal and prevent pets from mixing with wild animals or strays.

Signs of rabies in animals include attitude changes; aggressiveness; biting and foaming mouth; sensitive to touch, water, light and sound; loss of appetite or drinking; lethargy; paralysis and eventually death.

Therefore, animals showing such signs must be reported immediately to JPVS at +6082-628248 / +6082-610023 (Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit) / +6016-2557267 (Rabies WhatsApp/Message).

Victims who are bitten or scratched should go to the hospital immediately for further treatment. — DayakDaily