Seek immediate treatment if bitten by animals – Uggah
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.