Single sample from Kpg Sejijak tests positive for rabies

Rabies can be spread through animal bites. — file pic

KUCHING, Jan 17: The State Veterinary Services Department (JPVS) announced another positive rabies sample yesterday.

The sample was one of the 197 samples taken from Kampung Sejijak, Batu Kawa, Kuching.

The area is within the 10km radius of an area that has been previously declared as an outbreak area, said the State Disaster Management Committee in a statement yesterday.

As of yesterday, 71 samples collected from dogs, and six from cats had shown to be positive for rabies. A total of 43,226 pets including dogs, cats and other animals as well as 3,437 streets dogs have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the state Health Department recorded 38 animal attack cases where all patients have been given anti-rabies vaccination.

Among these 38 cases, Kuching district has the highest number of cases with 16, followed by Serian (15), Sarikei and Sri Aman (three each) and Samarahan (one).

JPVS reminded all pet owners to prevent their pets from mixing with other street dogs and cats.

Pet owners also urged to observe their pets to see whether there is a change in their pets’ behaviour. If there is any sign of viciousness, tendencies to bite moving objects, hydrophobic (fear of water), scared of light, excessive salivation and anxiety, they are advised to contact JPVS at 082-612949 or 082-611607 immediately.

JPVS also warned that under Section 37 (2) and (3) of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, it is an offence to allow dogs to roam freely, or to walk dogs in infected areas without State Veterinary Authority permits. It could result in a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three months or both if the pet-owners are convicted.

People who have a history of being bitten by dogs are urged to take immediate action by checking in at the nearest health facility.

At the same time, the public are also reminded to always avoid being bitten by dogs.

In case of it happening, it is necessary to take immediate preventive measures by washing the exposed parts of the wound using soap and flowing clean water for 15 minutes, and seek immediate treatment at a nearby clinic or hospital. — DayakDaily