Rabies cases have spiked by a notable 70 percent compared to the 10 cases reported last year during the same period, raising concerns.
Rabies, also known as “mad dog disease,” is a viral infection capable of damaging the human nervous system, often transmitted through bites from aggressive wild animals like dogs and cats.
Previously, in Indonesia, a case of rabies resulted in the tragic death of a six-year-old child after a bite from a rabid dog.
New Rabies Cases Linked to Dog Carcasses
Between August and 17 September, another fatal case of rabies was recorded by the Sarawak State Health Department (JKN) due to a recently identified factor.
In total, four rabies cases were documented during this period.
According to reports by Astro Awani, the source of this viral infection is suspected to be dog carcasses.
Dr. Ooi Choo Huck, the Director of Sarawak State Health, believes that the latest victim had handled a deceased pet dog before succumbing to the disease.
Previously, three other cases involved individuals scratched by pet cats, while two were bitten by pet dogs.
Rabies Cases in Sarawak Surge Compared to Previous Year
Dr. Ooi further disclosed that from 1 January to 17 September, Sarawak recorded 17 Rabies cases, with 15 fatalities reported.
Among these cases, five came from Sibu, four from Serian, three from Kuching Division, three from Bintulu, and two from Samarahan.
This marks a substantial 70 percent increase compared to just 10 cases reported during the same period last year.
“Since the rabies outbreak was declared in July 2017, there have been 72 cases among humans in Sarawak, resulting in 65 deaths,” clarified Dr. Ooi.
He advised the public not to handle animal carcasses without knowledge of their health status to prevent disease transmission.
Lethal Rabies: Key Information to Keep in Mind
Rabies is highly dangerous to humans — often fatal. For those unsure of what to do, here are some guidelines to prevent rabies:
- Wash the bitten area immediately with soap and clean water.
- Allow clean water to flow over the wound to remove saliva traces.
- Ensure that pets like dogs and cats receive anti-rabies vaccinations at veterinary clinics.
- Bring pets to a clinic or report to the Department of Veterinary Services if they display aggression.
- Report stray dogs to local authorities if spotted in your area.
Signs You Might Have Contracted Rabies:
- Pain and soreness at the site of the bite.
- Muscle weakness.
Stay vigilant, everyone!
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