SMC rounds up stray dogs over rabies fears

SMC dog catching team rounding up a dog in Sentosa.

SIBU, March 30: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has taken aggressive measures to curb the spread of rabies following the death of a 5-year-old girl due to the disease on March 26.

A team of dog catchers were deployed to round up stray and free roaming dogs within the 10km radius of the Sentosa area, where the victim was bitten by a dog on March 8

SMC chairman Clarence Ting said the council has stepped up efforts to catch all dogs on the street regardless of whether the dogs were licensed or not.

“Although the incident took place in the Sentosa area, SMC would also go to all areas to capture dogs within a radius of 5 to 10 kilometres from the scene,” he added.

He urged all dog owners not to leave their animal on the road without their supervision, as they might have infected the deadly disease and brought it home.

“So don’t let your kids play with your dog. Check your dog’s weird behavior first. This is a serious matter, and the disease is more dangerous than Covid-19,” he said.

Ting said since the incident, SMC has caught 39 dogs in the Sentosa area.

The death of the five-year-old was the first reported rabies case in Sarawak this year.

The girl, from Jalan Sentosa, was bitten by a dog on March 8 on her face, mouth, and eyelids. She was sent to Sibu Hospital for treatment on the same day. She was given anti-tetanus, rabies immunoglobulin and three doses of anti-rabies vaccine on two separate days.

Helath director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the girl was discharged from hospital on March 16 but was re-admitted on March 25 with symptoms of rabies. She died the next day. — DayakDaily