Rabies human death toll in Sarawak rises to seven

Rabies can be spread through animal bites. — DayakDaily.com file pic

KUCHING, April 5: A 26-year-old man from Taman Sri Makmur, Batu 6 Matang has become the latest human casualty of rabies since the outbreak was detected in the state in June last year.

According to a Sarawak Health Department (JKNS) press statement today, the state now has recorded seven deaths (including four children) and one case has been discharged from hospital and currently being treated at home.

The latest victim is also the second death recorded due to rabies this year and a laboratory test dated April 5 confirmed that the man contracted the virus.

Investigations revealed that the victim had been bitten by a stray dog on Dec 23, 2017.

However, he did not seek treatment from any clinic or hospital. Instead, he bought medicine from nearby pharmacies.

It was only sometime in March this year, that the victim complained of muscle aches, numbness and headaches, and finally sought treatment from private clinics on March 29 and 30.

On April 2, when his condition deteriorated, he was referred to a government clinic for further treatment.

The case was later referred to the Sarawak General Hospital on the same day.

The victim showed symptoms of hydrophobia, aerophobia, headache, hallucinations and weak limbs.

He died on April 3, 2018.

The statement also said that as of April 5, there are 30 areas in five (5) divisions which have been declared as rabies-infested areas

They are Serian Division, Sri Aman Division, Kuching Division, Samarahan and Sarikei Division.

JKNS has implemented Active Case Detection (ACD) to detect dog bite cases according to existing procedures.

Meanwhile, no other rabies cases have been reported in other states in Malaysia. — DayakDaily