Another rabies death in Sarawak, total four this year

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THE Health Ministry yesterday announced another fatality from rabies in Sarawak, bringing the total number so far this year in the state to four.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest victim was a 45-year-old local man who was confirmed positive on May 11 and died one day later from what was diagnosed as rabies encephalitis.

He said the victim who lived in a sawmill worker’s house in Stapang, Selangau district was warded at Sibu Hospital on May 6 for fever, headache, sore throat, feeling pain when drinking water, and hydrophobia.

“The victim had a history of being bitten first, on his calf and in another incident, on his chin by two different dogs belonging to a fellow worker in February and March this year, respectively in the sawmill area.

“However, the victim did not seek treatment after being bitten by the dogs,” he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham said the owner killed the two dogs but did not send the dead dogs to the State Veterinary Services Department for further investigation.

“Since the rabies outbreak was declared in Sarawak on July 1, 2017, the number of infected cases has reached 35, with 33 of these causing fatalities. The two child victims survive until today but having serious neurological complications,” he added. – Bernama