IPOH: Two girls have been bitten by a dog which was infected with rabies at the fishing village of Kuala Sepetang, about 70km from here.
Veterinary Services Director-General Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said the dog owner's 11-year-old daughter and niece, 12, were bitten at a house in Tepi Sungai on July 4.
The girls were sent to the Kuala Sepetang health clinic to treat the wounds and were given tetanus injections.
They have been admitted to the Taiping Hospital for further treatment, Dr Quaza Nisamuddin said in a statement on Sunday.
Five days after biting the girls, the dog showed symptoms of rabies.
"The dog began to isolate itself and did not have appetite to eat. It vomitted, had fever and suffered cramps on its limbs," Dr Quaza Nizamuddin said.
The owner had brought the animal in to be treated on July 11. It died the next day.
"The Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) confirmed that the dog tested positive for rabies through a Flourescent Antibody Test and Polymerase Chain Reaction on July 15.
"A physical check on the carcass also showed bite marks on its penis," Dr Quaza Nizamuddin said, adding that it was an isolated case and was not related to the outbreak in Sarawak.
He said the dog was probably infected with rabies after being bitten by a rabid dog, believed to have been brought in via boat by foreigners.
He said the dog owner had also informed the department of several cases of dead stray dogs in January this year.
"Some pet dogs in the area showed symptoms of watery eyes, running nose and hypersalivation. There were, however, no reported cases of humans being bitten then," he said, adding that there were about 120 pet dogs and 50 stray dogs in the area.
Dr Quaza Nazimuddin said the department had taken the necessary steps to contain the disease.
"We are now vaccinating all pets within a 1km radius and carrying out surveillance within a 10km radius from the incident site. Dogs with rabies symptoms will be put down, with the cooperation from the Taiping Municipal Council," he said.
"Pet owners are urged not to let their animals go out on the streets," he said, adding that the public should also report any rabid dogs to the local authorities and veterinary service department.
He said the people should not be worried as the affected area is limited to the fishing village.
Those bitten by dogs should wash the wound with soap and water immediately and contact the nearest government clinic or hospital for vaccination.