KUCHING, July 18: The State Health Department registered 31 new cases of animal bites today and three are confirmed positive for the rabies virus.
Samples from animals obtained were sent to the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) for test and three cases of confirmed rabies virus came from Kuching.
According to the State Natural Disaster Management Committee press statement today, the three involved two pet dogs from Taman Desa Wira, Batu Kawa and Jalan Stampin 6A respectively, while the third was a wild dog from Jalan Sg Tapang.
The dreaded disease has taken the lives of 10 people, including young children since an outbreak was declared in Serian, in June last year.
A total of 33 areas in five divisions namely Serian (22), Sri Aman (1), Kuching (5), Samarahan (3) and Sarikei (2) have been declared rabies-infected by the Sarawak government.
Members of the public are advised to seek immediate treatment at any nearby health clinic or hospital if they are bitten by animals, regardless whether wild, stray or pet, wash body parts that were bitten with soap and running water to remove saliva effects and maintain a high level of personal hygiene such as frequently washing hands by using water and soap after contact with pet dogs or cats.
Pet owners must also ensure that their dog or cat are given the anti-rabies vaccine and if they are unwell, seek immediate treatment at any veterinary clinic.
Members of the public should avoid in contact with any wild or stray animals and lodge a report with local authorities if they spot wild animals roaming around the area. — DayakDaily