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KUCHING, April 4: The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak today clarified that only one cat in Kampung Tambirat, Samarahan, had tested positive for rabies.
Its director, Dr Adrian Susin Ambud, explained in a press statement that the case was discovered after a driver tried to rescue a stray cat, which was knocked by his car, but was bitten instead.
“The cat was sent to the Sarawak Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, where a test on the cat’s brain tissue through Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT) came back positive,” he said in response to a news report two days ago that highlighted that felines also contributed to the spread of rabies in Kampung Tambirat.
The driver, Dr Adrian added, had received treatment and full anti-rabies injections at a nearby hospital following the incident.
Until early April this year, Dr Adrian revealed that 96 samples of dogs had been tested, where 32 of them were positive for rabies, while nine out of 13 samples of cats were positive for rabies.
As for other wild animals, eight samples have been taken since 2017 and all of them were negative.
“The Department will continue to actively carry out vaccination programmes for animals. To date, 110,000 dogs and 8,545 cats have been vaccinated,” he said.
“Private vets have also prepared rabies injections in their respective clinics and, up until now, over 10,000 animals have received rabies vaccinations.”
Dr Adrian reminded pet owners to vaccinate their pet animals as well as to strictly keep them inside the house compound during this period as efforts were ongoing to control and eliminate rabies.
“Rabies virus can spread through animal bites and scratches. As such, the public must always be on the alert and, if bitten, wash the wounds with warm water for 15 minutes and seek further treatment at the nearest clinic immediately,” he reiterated. — DayakDaily