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BAU – Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said it was still too early to declare rabies or mad dogs threat in Sarawak has eased.

“It is too early for us to make a declaration. To date, the situation is stable, we find positive cases in some places but the number of areas still remain at 22. It’s also too early to make any decisions but we hope there will be no new cases but in such cases we will take the same measures,” he said after visiting a vaccination operation at Suarah Bau Hall, here today.

Also present were Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Veterinary Services Department (JPV) director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam.

The Bau area has 104 villages and an estimated 8,000 dogs.

Commenting further, Ahmad Shabery said he had talked to the state government and JPV to send more staff to help deal with rabies outbreak.

“Maybe we will add 10 or 20 more people so we can create more teams to enable them to move around the whole area. The rest, if needed I will inform through the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), for example, if there is a need to get help from other agencies such as police, military, Civil Defence Force (APM) and so on,” he said.

When asked about the availability of vaccine, Ahmad Shabery said people should not worry because there is enough vaccine. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – The Sarawak Health Department today detected 56 cases of dog bite cases with reports of 14 cases received in Serian division, 38 cases in Kuching division and two cases each in Sri Aman and Samarahan divisions.

It is part of the surveillance and Active Case Detection (ACD) measures taken by the department as one of the agencies involved in the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JBNS) to curb the rabies outbreak in Sarawak.

JBNS secretariat, in a statement, here today said it brought the cumulative total of dog bite cases detected in these areas since April 1 until today to 1,016 cases.

He said 41 of the dog bite cases were given anti-rabies vaccination today, making the current cumulative total to 624 cases.

The statement added so far the  Sarawak Veterinary Services Department has conducted 121 awareness campaigns on the rabies outbreak in villages and schools in the affected areas which was attended by 25,682 participants.

Since the Health Ministry announced the rabies outbreak in the Serian district early this month, five people had died from the disease with the last case involving a 52-year-old man on July 23. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – The Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (JPVS) have vaccinated a total of 17,844 pets to curb the spread of the rabies outbreak.

The Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) secretariat, in a statement, today said that dogs made the highest number of animals vaccinated with a total number of 10,204, followed by cats (7,595) and 45 of other animals.

The total number included 3,604 dogs vaccinated at the Mile 7 basketball court near here from 10 am to 4pm today, the statement said.

The secretariat also said so far the JPVS had carried out 109 awareness campaigns on rabies outbreak in villages and schools in the affected areas, attended by 21,411 participants.

It also said that cumulatively, from July 2 to July 24, a total of 352 new bite cases were detected.

“In Serian district, 23 bite cases are reported today and this brings the total number of cases to 805 since April 1.

“A total of 482 people have been vaccinated thus far and the Sarawak State Health Department is in the midst of contacting those who have yet to receive it,” it said.

As of yesterday, the committee had declared a total of 20 areas in Sri Aman, Serian, Tebedu and Kuching as rabies infected areas.

The rabies outbreak had claimed the lives of four children and an adult in the Serian district so far. – BERNAMA

KUCHING – The fifth rabies victim in Sarawak, a 52-year-old man from Kampung Remun in Serian, succumbed to the disease on Sunday.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Tinding Lambang passed away at 10.43pm at the Sarawak General Hospital due to rabies with underlying pulmonary tuberculosis.

Tinding was bitten by a dog in early May and admitted on July 11 after suffering weak limbs, numbness, backache and confusion.

A lab test on July 18 confirmed that he had rabies.

Noor Hisham said as of today five human rabies cases had been reported in Sarawak, all of which had resulted in fatalities, and no new cases had been reported so far. – The Star Online

KUCHING – The Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) today declared another two rabies infected areas in Kampung Entubuh, Tebedu and Mile 5, Jalan Semeba, Kuching.

The decision was made by Deputy Chief Minister and JBBN chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas following a discussion with Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian
at the Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd hangar here today.

“This brings the total to 20 rabies infected areas in which dogs are found to be rabies positive in Sarawak, JPBN secretariat  said in a statement here.

The statement added in Serian, the rabies infected areas are in Kampung Krait , Kampung Paon Rimu, Kampung Paon Rimu Bakung, Kampung Remun, Kampung Lebor, Kampung Saroban, Kampung Tangga, Kampung Ampungan, Kampung Mentong Berawan, Kampung Mentong Silaga, Kampung Engkabang, Kampung Tampek Sumpas, Kampung Rasau, Siburan Bazaar, Serian Town and Mile 45, Kuching-Sri Aman Road.

In Tebedu, the areas are at Kampung Temong Mura and Kampung Entubuh while in Sri Aman at Rumah Janta Punggu Mawang and Kuching at  Mile 5, Jalan Semeba. – BERNAMA

GEORGE TOWN – A 52-year-old man who is the fifth individual infected with rabies or mad dog disease in Sarawak is still unconscious but his condition is not critical.

The Ministry of Health’s Disease Control Division director Dr Chong Chee Kheong said the man, who hails from Kampung Remun, Serian in Sarawak was placed in a special isolation ward at the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) for intensive monitoring.

“Laboratory tests on July 18 confirmed  the man was infected with the rabies virus. He was not admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) because his situation was not critical,” he told reporters after the opening of the 5th Smoke-Free Cities Regional Workshop and the Summit Of Smoke-Free Leaders  by Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya here, today.

Participants from 10 ASEAN countries are attending the three day workshop which started yesterday.

Earlier, four rabies cases involving children were reported in Serian, all the children succumbed to the disease.

The four children, Jackson Mazlan, four, and his sister, Monica, six, from Kampung Paon Sungai Rimo, Serian died on July 4, Alicesa Lovenna, seven, from Kampung Lebor, Serian died on July 13 and Florencesia Edward, five, from Kampung Ampungan in Serian died on July 17.

Meanwhile, Dr Chong said the Health Ministry would continue to monitor the state of health of victims who tested negative for rabies at least for three weeks to six months to ensure they are free of the virus.

“Like the boy in Melaka, who was suffering from a cold, fever and headache and slight symptoms similar to the disease, but tested negative for the virus according to laboratory tests. However,, we have to monitor and treat him to see how his health condition is from time to time,” he said.

He said that based on previous cases, all victims who were diagnosed with the rabies virus were only confirmed after two or three months after they were bitten and not immediately.

“The period to determine the patient is completely free of the virus is indeed long and that’s why we need to monitor their progress for at least two to three months,” he said.

Meanwhile, in SERIAN, about 28 schools within a radius of 10 kilometres from the Serian District were briefed on the outbreak of rabies by the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (DVS) and the Sarawak Health Department.

Sarawak DVS senior veterinary assistant officer, Ahtien Ijon said the briefing aimed at raising the awareness of the dangers of the outbreak.

Every day two teams were mobilised to give a briefing at four schools, she said when met by Bernama during a briefing at Sekolah Kebangsaan St Teresa here, today.

During the briefings, Athien said explanations are given about the symptoms of a dog infected with rabies, what to do if bitten by home mammals such as dogs, bats, cats or monkeys and other information.

These briefing are very effective because when students return home from school they would communicate the information to their parents.

“We also have a question-and-answer session. For example, a pupil asked ‘why in previous years there was no rabies outbreak’, this is a good question as it shows they are sensitive to the current situation,” she said.

Athien said besides the briefings, the team members would also collect information on incidents of students being bitten by dogs.

“We will pass on the information to the monitoring team to conduct a survey on the pupil’s village,” she said.

An English teacher at SK St Teresa, Nalie Lan welcomed the programme as she herself had been bitten by her dog.

“I was bitten on May 25 in Kampung Ampungan. I sought treatment at Serian Hospital, where I was given three vaccinations after the outbreak was confirmed. This kind of briefings are especially good for students to understand the dangers of the rabies outbreak,” she said. – BERNAMA

TAIPING – The Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) will help to dispose off the carcases of the stray dogs which are shot in Kuala Sepetang at the garbage disposal site in Matang in the effort to check the spread of rabies.

MPT president Datuk Abd Rahim Md Ariff said the council would help the Perak Veterinary Services Department (JPV) to dispose off all the carcases of these stray dogs.

“Dogs with permits will be vaccinated to prevent the spread of the outbreak,” he told reporters after a ceremony to demonstrate the picus sonic tomograph equipment for tree risk assessments in Taman Tasik here today.

In addition, Abd Rahim said 24 dog permits were issued in Kuala Sepetang from January until this month.

“A dog permit costs RM18 each and will not incur the Goods and Services Tax (GST), so we urge dog owners to register and obtain a legitimate permit,” he said.

On Monday, the Perak state government gazetted the Matang sub-district in the Larut, Matang and Selama District as a rabies area after a dog died on July 13 from the disease.

Meanwhile, in TANJUNG MALIM,  State Health, Public Transport, Non-Muslim Affairs, National Integration  and New Village Committee chairman Datuk Mah Hang Soon said 65 dogs and 67 cats in Kuala Sepetang, Taiping were vaccinated by JPV.

Dr Mah said JPV had also taken eight samples from 48 stray dogs which had to be destroyed in the rabies area and sent to the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh yesterday to be analysed.

“Tests on five of the eight samples which were taken from the dogs in Kuala Sepetang were found to be rabies-free.

“Meanwhile, the results of tests on three more samples will be known on Friday,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Perak Action Committee To Tackle Rabies Epidemic at the Tanjung Malim District Council here today.

In the meantime, Dr Mah said all dog owners from the Matang sub-district were not allowed to take out the animal from the sub-district which had been gazetted as a rabies area.

He said the police had been asked to conduct road blocks to prevent rabies from spreading to other districts.

“No dogs are allowed to enter or leave the rabies area which was declared under the Rabies Outbreak Area Order effective July 17.

“A written approval from the Perak JPV is needed to enter or leave the rabies area or face action under the law,” he said. – BERNAMA



KUCHING – A 52-year-old man has become the fifth victim of rabies in the infected district of Serian in Sarawak.

Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today it was confirmed on July 18 that the man, from Kampung Remun, had contracted the disease.

He said in a website post that the man had been bitten by a dog in early May and that he developed what is believed to be symptoms of the disease on July 11 and was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital.

The man is the fifth person in Serian to have contracted rabies. Four people have died of the disease. – BERNAMA


SEREMBAN – The state government has instructed the local authorities to monitor wild dogs as a precautionary measure to avoid potential cases of rabies or mad dog disease.

Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said people were also asked to be more cautious especially those who had children playing in playgrounds where a wild dog would occasionally appear..

“Although the disease is commonly detected among wild dogs, it is also not impossible it could infect pets,” he told reporters after attending the Negeri Sembilan Teachers’ Day celebration here, today.

He was speaking following the rabies cases in Sarawak which had claimed four lives and in Perak it was also detected in cats.

Mohamad said the disease should be taken seriously as it spreads quickly after someone was bitten by the animal carrying the virus.

Meanwhile, in another development, Mohamad said the decision to sign the Corruption Free Pledge (IBR) is every state government’s respective stand.

He said this when asked to comment on Penang DAP’s refusal to sign the IBR  which would show the institution’s commitment to fight against the country’s number one enemy. – BERNAMA

IPOH – Nineteen stray dogs were put to sleep in Kuala Sepetang, Taiping yesterday as a measure to curb the spread of rabies or mad dog disease.

Perak Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director Dr Fuziah Muhayat said the department  had also conducted a census and surveillance operation within a kilometre from the location where the rabies infection had occurred with an animal population of 305.

“Vaccination operations have been carried out within one kilometre of the rabies infection location and as of yesterday, only one dog was vaccinated,” she said in a statement here today.

In addition, Dr Fuziah said five samples had been taken from dogs in Kuala Sepetang, Taiping and sent to the Institute of Veterinary Research here for analysis.

A rabies control awareness campaign had also been conducted house-to-house involving 275 animal owners.

Yesterday, the state government gazetted the mukim (sub-district) of Matang in the Larut, Matang and Selama district as rabies outbreak area, following the death of a pet dog on July 12, nine days after the canine bit two girls, aged 11 and 12 in Kuala Sepetang. – BERNAMA