By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Malaysia Ministry of Health (MOH) has reported two additional confirmed cases of rabies among humans in Sarawak. Both the patients died.

The first case of rabies was a 52 -year -old Malaysian man. He denied having a history of being bitten or scratched by dogs or other mammals. However, he once arrested and killed a pet dog in the area of ​​his factory worker’s house on 17 October 2020 after the dog bit two (2) workers there. However, the carcass of the dog was not handed over to the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department (DVS) for further investigation. On 31 January 2021, he was treated and admitted to a ward at Sibu Hospital for chest pain, numbness in his right hand, vomiting and shortness of breath. His health condition deteriorated to the point of requiring respiratory assistance on 5 February 2021. The deceased passed away on 8 February 2021 with the cause of death being due to rabies infection. The deceased’s diagnosis was confirmed positive for rabies through a laboratory test conducted by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) on February 6, 2021. Meanwhile, two workers who were bitten by the dog have received initial treatment and are still under follow -up monitoring by the health authorities.

The second case was a 54 -year -old Malaysian man. On 5 March 2021, he was referred to Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) with symptoms of weakness in the legs, pain throughout the body, fever, nausea and loss of appetite. His health condition deteriorated to the point of needing a respirator on March 7, 2021. Based on the history given, he was once bitten by his pet dog on December 26, 2020 on the right chest while handling the dog. On the same day, this dog was taken by the Local Authority (PBT) for eradication but no samples for rabies test were taken. The victim also never sought treatment after being bitten by her pet dog. The result of Rabies PCR test on his saliva (saliva) sample which was conducted at UNIMAS on 7 March 2021 was positive. The deceased passed away at HUS on 7 March 2021 with the cause of death being due to rabies infection.

These two cases are the first two positive cases of rabies among humans in Malaysia for 2021. The addition of these two (2) new cases makes the total number of cases since the rabies outbreak was declared in Sarawak on 1 July 2017 is 33 cases with 31 deaths. There were only two (2) surviving cases and both were children with a history of early treatment.