Five-year-old girl is latest rabies victim

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

KUCHING: A five-year-old girl from Sibu who died last week after being bitten by a dog is the latest rabies victim in Sarawak, said the Health Ministry.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a sample taken from the girl on March 26 was confirmed positive for rabies on March 29 by the medical laboratory in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

He said this was the first rabies case reported in Sarawak this year and the 23rd since an outbreak was declared in the state on July 31,2017. The last rabies case before this was reported on Nov 8 last year.

“The girl was bitten in the face by a stray dog on March 8 but the wounds were not immediately washed with running water and soap. She was brought to Sibu Hospital for treatment the same day.

“She received an anti-tetanus jab, a rabies immunoglobulin jab and two doses of anti-rabies vaccine. On March 13, she was discharged in healthy condition, ” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement yesterday.

He said the girl was given a third anti-rabies vaccine jab on March 16.

However, on Mar 24, she was brought to a community clinic in Sibu for fever and to the Sibu Hospital the next day after suffering a sore throat, difficulties in swallowing and hallucinations.

“Her condition deteriorated and she died the following day. The cause of death was rabies encephalitis, ” Dr Noor Hisham said.

The dog which bit the girl was reported to have died on March 10 but no sample was taken from it, he added.

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