KUCHING: Measures are being taken to confine the rabies virus within the locality where three infected children live.
According to Bernama, Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also State Disaster Management Committee chairman, said health clinics and hospitals near the area had also stocked up their supply of vaccine.
“We are also thoroughly investigating the source to prevent it from spreading,” he told reporters after a celebration to mark SUPP’s 58th anniversary here on Saturday night.
On extermination of dogs in the area, he said the matter was being discussed with the Sarawak Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (SSPCA).
Meanwhile, in his press statement, made available to New Sarawak Tribune yesterday, Acting Director of the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak, Dr. Adrian Susin Ambud said that the department had activated its operation room at the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalan Datuk Mohd. Musa in MuaraTuang.
The hotline of Veterinary Services Department is 082-612949/611607.
Adrian said that his department was informed by the Department of Health, Sarawak on 30 June, 2017 that there were three confirmed human rabies cases in Serian Division, namely, one case in Kampung Lebur and two cases in Kampung Paon Rimu Bakung.
“Briefly, rabies is a zoonotic disease caused by a virus mainly through dog bites. Rabies virus is primarily transmitted through the saliva of an infected dog. 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.
“Dogs infected with rabies are usually aggressive, showing excessive salivation and may attack humans without any provocation,” he said.
Immediate actions taken by the Department of Veterinary Services to address the rabies outbreak based on the existing protocols and guidelines for the prevention and control of rabies in the country are house-to-house surveys and vaccination of the dogs and cats in the affected areas by the Veterinary Department and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including the Resident Office, District Office and Local Authority.
Veterinary Dept working closely with Health Department
Adrian said that the Veterinary Department was working closely with the Health Department to monitor the situation in the affected areas and to take the necessary control measures.
Both departments are informing the people in the affected area to seek treatment immediately at the Serian Hospital if they are bitten by dogs and also to inform the nearest veterinary offices.
“Dog and cat owners in the affected areas are advised to keep their pets within their compound. Strays will be captured and observed for rabies infection.
“Epidemiological surveillance will be carried out within a 6-km radius from the infected areas. This is to monitor and control the possibility of Rabies spreading to other areas.
“Control on the entry of animals at all border points by the Veterinary Department will be tightened to prevent new sources (foci) of Rabies outbreak.
“The Veterinary Department will carry out rabies awareness campaigns through both the print and electronic media (radio),” he added.