Rabies situation in Sibu is alarming

front row from left, Ting, Siaw, Annuar, Lau, Dr Teh (sixth from left) and others at the Program

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SIBU, Nov 29: The rabies situation here had reached at an alarming stage as 50% of 104 dog samples taken at random this year, were tested rabies positive.

Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Annuar Rapa’ee said this meant that for every two stray dogs, one of them is likely to be positive with rabies and the other could be infected as well.

“If you ask me where are the rabies hotspots area in Sibu, I can say anywhere base on at this (positive rabies) number,” he said today after officiating a Plogging Program, Covid-19 Eradication Awareness, Rabies and Road Safety Awareness Campaign today.

“I do not intent to cause panic among the people here but just to remind them to be more vigilant with the presence of stray dogs in their area,’ he added.

Citing the statistic from the Sibu Division Rabies Infectious Disease Control Committee for the year 2020, he noted that a total of 1,801 stray dogs have been caught.

“This year, a total of 1,350 cases of dog bites were reported with Sibu district recording the highest number of cases at 1,213 cases, followed by 90 cases in Kanowit and 47 cases in Selangau.

“The relevant authorities such as the Veterinary Department and local councils had carried out various preventive measures through awareness and vaccination programs. But more importantly, the community at large must take precautionary actions and safety measures to avoid being bitten by dogs,” he said.

Among those present at the event were were, Sibu Division Resident Charles Siaw, Sibu Municipal Council (MPS) Chairman Clarence Ting and Sibu Division Health Officer Dr Teh Jo Hun.