In a follow-up on the rabies situation in Sarawak state, Malaysia, the state’s Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi said there have been nine deaths recorded from 11 cases of rabies infection in humans in Sarawak as of May 2023.
He went on to say, there were 66 human rabies cases with 59 deaths due to delay or no treatment since the rabies outbreak was declared in the state on July 1, 2017.
A total of 366 rabid dog bites on humans have been recorded in Sarawak since 2017 and 300 patients have survived due to early treatment.
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He said it is crucial to constantly elevate awareness of rabies prevention, vaccination, and control measures, as well as finding effective strategies and solutions to eradicate rabies in Sarawak.
A total of 42 positive rabies samples from dogs out of 181 samples collected in the state so far this year–17 dogs which tested positive for rabies in Padawan, Kuching (10), Samarahan (four), Tebedu (four), Bau (two) and one each in Lundu, Sibu, Selangau, Bintulu and Lawas.
Despite the situation in Sarawak, the minister said the state government remained committed to eliminating it by 2030, in line with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s target.
He said the state government would do everything in its power to curb the spread of the deadly disease and Sarawak could be declared rabies-free if the state remained free of animal and human rabies for a period of at least two consecutive years.
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