Travel advisory for 'rabies infected' Matang in Perak

A fishing village in Kuala Sepetang

A fishing village in Kuala Sepetang

IPOH: An advisory will be issued to all tour agencies regarding travel to the Matang sub-district, which has been declared a "rabies infection area".

Perak Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohd Radzi said the state, through the local councils, would inform all tour agencies to advise their customers about the disease and to be careful.

"I would advise them to change their travel plans if they want to travel to the area. We do not want to take chances," she said at a press conference after attending a Hari Raya open house organised by Tourism Perak at Impiana Hotel on Monday.

Among the popular tourist attractions in the sub-district included the Kuala Sepetang charcoal factory, riverine tour to watch dolphins and raptors and the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Earlier, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir declared Matang sub-district as a rabies infection area.

It was reported that two girls in Kuala Sepetang were bitten by a rabid dog earlier this month.

The Veterinary Services Department confirmed that the two-year-old dog had rabies on Saturday.

The authorities have also begun vaccinating all pets within a 1km radius.

Nolee said she understood that efforts to contain the disease are ongoing.

"There's no doubt that it will have an effect on the local tourism industry there.

"I urge all tourism industry players to cooperate with the state until the disease is contained," she said.

Meanwhile, a Veterinary Services Department spokesman said officers have collected census data and conducted active surveillance around the Larut, Matang dan Selama district, involving 59 houses within a 1km radius from the rabies case point of origin.

"We've recorded one pet dog and five stray dogs in the area. No clinical symptoms were detected on the animals.

"An awareness campaign was also carried out with officers going door to door to speak to the residents in the area," the spokesman said.

The department also received a new complaint regarding an animal bite, whereby a cat had bitten a 41-year-old woman in Kampung Mentari, Kuala Sepetang.

A checkup was conducted and no clinical symptoms were detected on the cat.

The cat would be put under observation and quarantine for 14 days. The woman received treatment at the Kuala Sepetang Health Clinic.