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49-Year-Old In Sarawak Dies Of Rabies After He Was Bitten By His Infected Pet Dog

The dog died a week after the biting incident early this year.

Cover image via Malay Mail

On Saturday, a 49-year-old farmer from Kuching died of rabies virus. He contracted the disease after he was bitten by his pet dog.

Image via Malay Mail

According to a report in The Borneo Post, the man did not seek medical treatment after being bitten by his dog in January this year.

He also had an open wound on his right hand at the time of the incident. The man's pet dog died a week after the incident. Reportedly, he frequently mixed with stray dogs.

On 11 August, he sought treatment after developing an irrational fear of water

The Sri Aman Division resident was hospitalised at Serian Hospital with fever and breathing difficulties.

He was, however, referred to Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) on 14 August after his conditioned deteriorated. At SGH, he was warded at the Infectious Disease Ward in critical condition.

Another victim, who showed similar symptoms, was also reportedly bitten by the same dog around the same time. He was, however, given an anti-rabies vaccination on 16 August and is currently being monitored by the hospital.

Image via Malay Mail

In Sawarak, so far 11 people have succumbed to the rabies virus in as many months

Image via My News Hub

The state has recorded a total of 12 cases of Encephalitis Rabies since June last year, with the death rate at 91.7%. The only surviving victim is currently being treated for neurology complications.

The Sarawak government has declared 33 areas in the Serian, Kuching, Samarahan, Sarikei and Sri Aman divisions as rabies-infested.

While symptoms of rabies take time to develop, immediate medical treatment is needed to prevent fatalities

According to The Star, health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah reminded the public to take preventive measures against rabies. 

The federal government, via the Veterinary Services Department (DVS), is continuing to help Sarawak handle the rabies outbreak by providing experts to help with a surveillance programme as well as more doses of rabies vaccines to be sent to affected areas, as reported by New Straits Times.

There are several ways for Malaysians to prevent rabies

1. Vaccinate your pet dogs and cats against rabies.

2. Don't mix around with stray animals that much.

3. Act quickly if an animal bites or scratches you.

4. Get a rabies vaccine at local hospitals and clinics that offer them.

Diseases are spreading like wildfire. Just last month, a 2-year-old boy in Sarawak passed away due to HFMD

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