In a follow-up on the two most recent suspected human rabies cases in Sarawak province, Malaysia, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reports that on December 10, 2018, laboratory tests on samples from both cases have been confirmed positive for rabies.
The 15th rabies case, a 64-year-old man died on December 11, 2018 at 6.43am and the 16th case, a 74-year-old man died on December 7, 2018 at 3.15am.
With the confirmation of two (2) new cases, the number of rabies cases among people in Sarawak since the epidemic was announced on June 30, 2017 was 16 cases; including 15 deaths. The living case is a seven-year-old child suffering from severe neurological complications and is currently being treated at home.
The death rate due to rabies infection is extremely high. In the rabies epidemic in Sarawak, its death rate is 93.8% and the chance for survival is very thin if you do not properly wash the bite wound and get treatment immediately. Therefore, the MOH reminds the public to immediately wash the body part that bites dogs or wild animals with running water and soap for at least 15 minutes to remove the salivary effect. After that, seek immediate treatment at a nearby health clinic or hospital.