Two more samples test positive for rabies

Rabies can be spread through animal bites. — file pic

KUCHING, Dec 29: Results for two of four samples received from the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) in Ipoh yesterday returned positive for the rabies virus after being subjected to the Direct Fluorescence Antibody Test (FAT).

The State Disaster Management Committee secretariat said the two samples which tested positive originated from stray dogs at Taman Jutaria and Block A, Taman Dahlia in Matang.

Another two samples which tested negative were from a stray dog from No. 251, Mile 14, Kuching Road/Serian and a bat from Kampung Batu Bedang, Jalan Mongkos in Serian.

To date, a total of 306 samples taken from 279 dogs, 25 cats and two bats from Kuching Division, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Samarahan, Betong and Serian have been sent to VRI, Ipoh for the Rabies virus test.

So far 57 dog samples and six cats have been confirmed positive for the Rabies virus.

The secretariat also said a total of 42,227 pets consist of 34,205 dogs, 7,977 cats and 45 other animals were vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccines.

Meanwhile, joint operations conducted by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (JPVS) have so far caught 2,999 stray dogs in the Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Samarahan and Betong Divisions in a move to control the population of stray dogs in order to curb the spread of the disease.

The Sarawak Health Department said 12 cases of new bites have been reported today, with five cases in Samarahan Division, four in Kuching Division and three in Serian Division. No case was reported Sri Aman Division.

Of these, 12 cases involved pet animals, with nine dog cases and three cat cases. This brings the cumulative number of animal bite cases from April 1, 2017 till today to 5,501 cases and 2,093 people have been given the anti-rabies vaccination.

Apparently, not all bite cases require the anti-rabies vaccine. Each bite case will be clinically evaluated by a physician to check if the vaccine is required.

JPVS also reminded the public to prevent their pets from mingling with strays and to observe any behavioural changes such as aggressiveness, biting anything that moves, showing fear of water and drooling.

Rabies-related reports can be made to the State Disaster Management Committee’s secretariat at 082-443991, 446991 or 447960. — DayakDaily