Hornbill Unleashed

December 31, 2017

2017: Rabies outbreak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

THE rabies outbreak in Sarawak is not over yet since it was declared by the Health Ministry on July 1. The public are continuously reminded to take all necessary precautions to prevent themselves from being bitten by dogs.

On July 4, two young siblings – six-year-old Monica Mazlan and her four-year-old brother Jackson Mazlan – from Kampung Sungai Paun Sungai Rimu passed away at Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) after their life support system was removed.

The third victim Alicesa Lorenna Nody, seven, from Kampung Lebor Serian was pronounced dead on July 13.

The fourth victim, Florancesia Edward, aged five, died of rabies encephalomyelitis on July 17. She was reportedly bitten on the left hand by a dog at Kampung Seroban – located within a 10km radius from the area where the three earlier cases were detected – late May.

On July 23, Tinding Lambang, aged 52, from Kampung Remun, Serian, breathed his last at 10.30pm in SGH.

According to a statement issued on July 18 by Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Tinding was bitten by a dog in early May.

On July 11, he was reported to experience weak limbs, numbness and a backache, as well as confusion. Later after his admission to SGH, he was later confirmed to be the fifth victim of the rabies virus on July 8 following a lab test.

In a statement released by Sarawak Health Department on Dec 27, the last human case of rabies was reported in August – yet there is still incidence of dog bites in certain areas.  Department surveillance data shows there is an increasing trend of dog bite cases reported mainly from Kuching, notably in Matang and Batu Kawa areas – both declared as rabies-affected areas by Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS).

On Dec 19, a 72-year-old man sustained multiple bites by a stray dog outside his house at Lorong Sungai Tengah, Matang area – the animal also tried to attack his daughter.

In a separate incident, a 65-year-old woman was attacked and bitten by her own domestic dog without any warning.  She sustained a big laceration on her right shin, and multiple-bite wounds on both her calves. The incident occurred at Jalan Stephen Yong, Batu Kawa.

According to her, the dog was mixing with strays as it was left outside the house at night and not kept within her house compound.

On Dec 20, a man was bitten on his right ring finger when he tried to save his own dog, which had fallen into a drain at Sungai Apong in Pending area. His dog had also mixed with strays.

On Dec 21, a 58-year-old man was bitten on his left foot by his own dog while trying to put on his slippers. It is reported that the dog had episodes of fits, exhibited poor appetite and had been walking with a limp over the past three days.

The dog had also been mixing with strays dogs as it was allowed to be freely roaming in the day. This incident happened at Genesis Light Industrial Park, Jalan Batu Kawa/Matang.

His grandchild was also bitten by this dog’s mother on Nov 28 at the same location, but the female dog had gone missing after that.

The middle-aged man’s other two dogs had also became unwell and gone missing for few days prior to the bite incident.

In a separate incident on Dec 21, a 13-year-old girl was bitten on her left palm by a sick stray dog that she picked up at Jalan Wan Alwi. The dog had been sent to an animal centre for further treatment.

The total number of dog bite cases reported in Kuching District from July 1 to Dec 26, 2017 is as shown below:

a)            Batu Kawa-Jalan Stephen Yong/Batu Kawa-Matang  – 221 cases

b)            Matang-Gita – 167 cases

c)            Tabuan – 185 cases

d)            Penrissen-Kuching-Serian-Puncak Borneo – 143 cases

e)            Kota Sentosa-Batu Kitang – 127 cases

Source : The Borneo Post Online


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