22 areas in Sarawak affected by rabies after 2 more sites declared to be infected

Dogs being sent to the Kota Sentosa Basketball Stadium in Kuching for their anti-rabies jabs.
Dogs being sent to the Kota Sentosa Basketball Stadium in Kuching for their anti-rabies jabs.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUCHING (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two more areas in Sarawak have been declared as rabies-infected, bringing the total number of affected zones to 22, said the Sarawak state disaster management committee.

The newly declared areas are the Sungai Maong wet market and Kampung Serikin in Bau.

At least five people in the east Malaysia state are known to have died from rabies, after a 52-year-old man from Serian succumbed to the disease on Sunday (July 23).

The Sarawak Health Department has set up dog bite clinics at the Sarawak General Hospital, Serian Hospital, Sentosa health clinic and Sri Aman health clinic to treat dog bite cases in nearby areas.

Those bitten by dogs in areas outside the four clinics are advised to go to their nearest clinic or hospital for treatment.

Separately, the Sarawak-Kalimantan special committee to prevent and control rabies met at the Tebedu district office on Tuesday morning to discuss measures to curb the outbreak.

The committee agreed to carry out joint vaccinations to create an immune belt in border areas. It will also step up awareness campaigns on rabies along the border by distributing pamphlets in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia.

In addition, a standard operating procedure (SOP) between Sarawak and west Kalimantan will be drawn up for joint anti-rabies operations in border areas.

Both sides also agreed not to allow the import and export of animals.