KUCHING, June 1 (Bernama) -- Another rabies-related death was recorded in Sarawak last night, bringing the total number of deaths due to rabies since middle of last year to 10.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest case involved a 21-year-old woman from Kampung Joran Bari, Serian, who was bitten on the right arm by her own dog while she was bathing it on April 20.
He said since the rabies epidemic was declared in Sarawak on July 1 last year, the number of confirmed rabies cases among humans was 11 with 10 fatalities while one person had been discharged from hospital with severe neurological problems and was being treated at home.
"The patient (in the latest case) had been given treatment for her wounds and anti-tetanus injection at the Serian Hospital on the night of the incident and advised to get further treatment at the Dog Bite Clinic at the Serian Hospital the next day, but she did not go,” he said in a statement on the kpkesihatan.com website today.
"The dog which bit her was a wild dog which her father adopted three weeks before the incident, and had never been given anti-rabies vaccination," he said.
Noor Hisham said on May 20, the woman received treatment at the Emergency and Trauma Department at the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) after she complained of pain and weakness in her right shoulder for four days.
He said the woman’s condition became worse as she showed symptoms of hallucination, fever and lost of reflex in both her hands, and died at 5 am yesterday.
"The clinical sample of the case was sent to the Institute of Medical Research on May 31 and confirmed positive for rabies,” he said.
"The Health Ministry wants to stress that the prevention of rabies infection in humans is very dependent on the success of controlling rabies among dogs, so the public must cooperate by bringing their pets for vaccination,” he said.
Last Tuesday, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chaired by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah declared Kampung Selarat Sematan in the Lundu district as a new rabies epidemic area, bringing the total so far to 31 areas in five districts in Sarawak.
By Nadia Jumri
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