Rabies claims eighth fatality in Sarawak

Hands holding a lighted candle. - DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, May 3: An 11-year-old child has become the eighth person to succumb to rabies since the virus was detected in Sarawak last year.

The boy, from Kampung Sebangkoi Baru in Simunjan, Samarahan district died at the Sarawak General Hospital this afternoon.

According to a statement from the State Disaster Management Committee, the boy fell ill on April 18, with symptoms of body aches, weak limbs and vomiting.

His parents took him to a private clinic the next day and he was immediately transferred to Serian Hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis (AGE).

By April 22, the child’s condition worsen, with several seizures and he was immediately transferred to Sarawak General Hospital for further treatment.

Clinical samples were taken from the child and a laboratory test from Medical Research Institute in Kuala Lumpur on May 2 confirmed positive for rabies encephalitis.

Investigations revealed that the child could have been exposed to dog or other rabies infected animals as he had an old bite wound on his body.

Upon interrogation from health authorities, the child’s parents were not aware if he ever had any dog or other animal bites prior to falling ill.

The statement added that since June 30 last year, nine cases of rabies in humans have been detected, resulting in eight deaths.

To date, the state government has declared 30 areas in five divisions in Sarawak as rabies-infested, namely Serian, Sri Aman, Kuching, Samarahan and Sarikei. — DayakDaily