Sarawak’s third rabies victim dies

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KUCHING: The 7 year-old girl from Kampung Lebor in Serian -Sarawak’s third reported rabies victim – has just died.

She died at 2.16pm in the Sarawak general hospital due to rabies encephalomyelitis, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated in a statement.

Two siblings, a 4 year-old boy and her 6 year-old sister, died from the viral infection on July 5 after their parents agreed to have their life support system removed as they were already brain dead.

All three were bitten by rabid dogs. The source of the infection is suspected to be from infected animals from Kalimantan.

The 7 year-old was initially was treated for fever but when she fell into a fits, she was immediately brought to the SGH.

Last Tuesday, the health ministry confirmed a five-year-old girl, this time from Kampung Ampungan, also in the infected Serian district, as being the state’s fourth rabies victim.

She is now being treated in the intensive care unit of SGH. Her condition is reported critical.

The health ministry DG said no new cases had been detected since Tuesday and their active case detection (ACD) drive had found 225 people had been bitten by a dog since April 1.

They have been vaccinated against rabies.

The ACD drive, jointly carried out by the state Health Department and Serian divisional health office, had interviewed 21,978 people from 5,663 homes in 96 localities on dog bites.

Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi personally handed over RM60,000 from his personal ministerial allocation to the parents of the dead sibling to rebuild their home.

The presentation was made at the Hornbill Skyways hangar at the Kuching international airport, just before Zahid took off for Sri Aman to attend his Home Ministry hari raya / gawai gathering.

To date, six villages in Serian have been declared as rabies-infected areas and the area within a 10km radius of the infected villages have been declared infected zones. –