Sarawak in bid to contain rabies outbreak

Sarawak boosting efforts to curb rabies

Sarawak in bid to contain rabies outbreak

The department, he added, is working with local authorities and non-governmental organisations to go house-to-house to vaccinate dogs and cats.

"We will carry out epidemiological surveillance within a 6km radius from the infected areas to monitor and control the possibility of rabies spreading to other areas", Dr Adrian said.

Noor Hisham said urine samples, saliva and skin biopsies of the victims that were sent to the Institute of Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur were tested positive for the rabies virus.

"Infection occurs primarily via bite wounds, or infected saliva entering an open cut or wound or mucous membrane, such as those in the mouth, nasal cavity or eyes".

He said control on the entry of animals at all border points by the Veterinary Department will be tightened to prevent new sources, or foci, of rabies outbreak.

"Dogs infected with rabies are usually aggressive, showing excessive salivation and may attack human without any provocation".

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Dr Adrian said his department was informed by the Health Department on Friday that three children were infected by rabies. In addition, Dr Adrian urged those who were bitten by dogs to seek immediate treatment and also inform the nearest veterinary offices.

Its hotline numbers are 082-612 949 and 082-611 607.

The Sarawak Health Department, Veterinary Services Department and Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) gave the directive at a meeting with residents of the villages, located about 80 kilometres from Kuching, yester morning.

"We'll make sure it can be contained as soon as possible", he told reporters after attending SUPP's 58th anniversary dinner on Saturday night.

The Sarawak Veterinary Services Department said yesterday that all stray cats and dogs will be captured and observed for rabies infection.

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