Seek im­me­di­ate treat­ment if bit­ten by an­i­mals – Ug­gah

The Borneo Post - - Front Page - Sa­muel Aubrey

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Dou­glas Ug­gah calls on Sarawakian­s again to seek im­me­di­ate treat­ment a er be­ing bi en by an­i­mals, a er news broke out that Sarawak recorded its 20th ra­bies fatality yes­ter­day.

Ug­gah said he was sad to note that de­spite many ad­vices given in the news­pa­pers, ra­dio and the so­cial me­dia, peo­ple were still dy­ing of ra­bies due to their in­dif­fer­ence.

He said based on Min­istry of Health’s records, dog and cat bite cases in­clud­ing by those kept as pets were still high in Sarawak, av­er­ag­ing 40 to 60 cases daily.

“I re­peat it here... the in­stant a er be­ing bi en, the vic­tim must wash the bite wound with soap and run­ning wa­ter for at least 10 to 15 min­utes.

“Then he or she must seek treat­ment at once. This is very im­por­tant whether the wound is se­ri­ous or oth­er­wise. We have cases in the past where those who sought treat­ment at the clin­ics were healed. We have the fa­cil­i­ties to treat this,” he said.

Ug­gah, who is also Sarawak Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee chair­man, was com­ment­ing on the 20th ra­bies fatality in­volv­ing a 64year-old man from Mukah.

It was re­vealed by Min­istry of Health di­rec­tor gen­eral Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Ab­dul­lah on Wed­nes­day that the man passed away at the In­ten­sive Care Unit (ICU) of Bin­tulu Hos­pi­tal on Aug 19.

“He was bit­ten by a dog which was given by his rel­a­tive in Kanowit,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Ug­gah, in­for­ma­tion re­ceived from the State Ve­teri­nary Of­fice in Mukah men­tioned that the vic­tim was bit­ten on May 21 by one of two dogs he had adopted from a rel­a­tive.

He also said that based on ex­tra in­for­ma­tion, the vic­tim had beaten the dog which bit him, and it died two days later. The other dog, mean­while, had been tested neg­a­tive for ra­bies.

“The re­port said he was bit­ten while feed­ing them. Al­though he was ad­vised to seek treat­ment for the bite wound he re­fused, say­ing it was not se­ri­ous.

“It was only on Aug 6 that he sought treat­ment at the Bin­tulu Hos­pi­tal. He died on Aug 19 at its In­ten­sive Care Unit,” said Ug­gah, adding the man would not have suc­cumbed to ra­bies had he heeded the of­ten given ad­vice.

The lat­est case brings the to­tal num­ber of re­ported ra­bies fatality cases to 20 since the ra­bies out­break was de­clared in Sarawak in July 2017. A nine-year-old who suf­fers se­vere neu­ro­log­i­cal dam­age and is on life support, re­mains as the sole sur­vivor.

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