PUTRAJAYA: Three districts near Taiping will be monitored for rabies, in an extra measure by the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to ensure the disease is controlled.
DVS director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said surveillance activities would be extended to Kerian, Kuala Kangsar and Kinta districts in Perak.
Saying the DVS was doing its best to curb the disease, he assured the public that there was no concern that rabies would spread out of the area.
“In Taiping, surveillance, vaccination of dogs, stray population control and awareness campaigns are still being carried out.
“Such measures have also been extended to cover up to a 10km radius from the infected area.
“Nevertheless, the rabies situation in Taiping is under control and no new cases have been detected since Jan 11,” he told The Star.
On Jan 14, Taiping and Bukit Gantang in Perak were gazetted as rabies-infected areas.
This was following a report on Dec 31 last year when two family members in Taman Sri Kota Phase 2, Taiping, were bitten by their pet. The dog was put down on Jan 3.
As of Tuesday, a total of 3,667 dogs have been vaccinated, 301 euthanised and 4,015 premises in the infected areas inspected.
In Sarawak, the state recently declared rabies as a level two disaster after the number of cases and infected areas continued to rise.
(Level two refers to a disaster that has occurred in more than one district in the state. At this level, government agencies would consolidate their resources to contain the spread of the disease.)
Dr Quaza Nizamuddin explained that this meant that more resources from other ministries could be mobilised to conduct control measures to tackle the problem more effectively.
“An integrated operation has been planned with more cooperation from other government agencies. This will take place in the near future,” he said.
To date, a total of 338 samples from dogs and cats have tested positive for the virus from 60 villages in 11 districts in the state.
A total of 90,039 dogs and 8,503 cats were vaccinated with the first dosage, while 11,797 dogs and 38 cats were given second dosages.
On the rabies immune belt along the Kalimantan border, Dr Quaza Nizamuddin said the concern was to keep protecting the belt.
“Activities such as dog vaccinations, controlling stray dog populations and surveillance are actively conducted in these areas,” he said.