By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

Malaysian health authorities reported two additional human rabies cases in Sarawak province.

The first case, the seventh of the year, was a 3-year-old boy with a history of being bitten by a dog on the face on November 2, 2020. He was immediately admitted to Bau Hospital to receive rabies immunoglobulin injection (RIG) and anti-rabies vaccine. The case was discharged in good health on


November 6, 2020. However, on November 13, 2020 until November 15, 2020, the child developed high fever, weak limbs, poor appetite, restlessness, hydrophobia and showed aggressive behavior. He was admitted to Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) on 16 November 2020 for further treatment and confirmed to be infected with the rabies virus through laboratory tests conducted by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) on 25 November 2020. The child is being treated at HUS and in stable condition.

The dog confirmed positive for rabies virus on 18 November 2020.

Everything you wanted to know about rabies

The second case, the eighth of the year, a 58-year-old man who was admitted to the ward at Lundu Hospital on 19 November 2020 with symptoms of pain and weakness for three days. He also complained of a sore throat with difficulty eating and drinking. The case was transferred to Sarawak General Hospital on 21 November 2020 when his health condition worsened. He died on 25 November 2020 with a diagnosis of rabies meningoencephalitis. The diagnosis was confirmed by a positive laboratory test for rabies by IMR on 25 November 2020.

The deceased had a history of being bitten by a wild dog in the last two years while hunting in the jungle. However, he did not seek treatment at any health facility. The case also defended five dogs but the dogs were confirmed negative for rabies by the Sarawak Veterinary Department.

With the addition of these two new cases, the total number of rabies cases among humans in Malaysia for the year 2020 is eight cases. The increase in these cases also brings the total number of cases in the rabies epidemic in Sarawak declared on 31 July 2017 to 30 cases with 28 deaths. There are only two surviving cases and both are children with a history of seeking early treatment.