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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 | MYT 12:00 AM

Five-year-old girl succumbs to rabies in Sarawak

KUCHING: The fourth and latest rabies victim in Sarawak, Florencesia Edward, has succumbed to the disease.

The five-year-old girl from Kampung Ampungan, Serian, died at 2.05pm yesterday.

The victim’s grandfather Kutek Rintan, 58, said Florencesia was bitten by a dog in Kampung Saroban during a pre-Gawai visit with her family on May 27.

“Her parents brought her to Serian Hospital, where she received 10 stitches to her left hand and arm. We did not suspect anything was wrong because she was well and healthy then.

“But after that, she suddenly came down with a high fever so her parents took her to the hospital again, which referred her to the Sarawak General Hospital,” he told reporters at the hospital’s mortuary.

Kutek said the family was deeply saddened but accepted her fate.

“She was always so active and cheerful,” he said, adding that she was the second of three siblings and the only girl in the family.

Florencesia’s death comes four days after the third victim, a seven-year-old girl from Kampung Lebor, died and almost two weeks since the disease claimed the lives of a brother and sister from Kampung Paon, Sungai Rimu.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said no new cases had been reported in Sarawak, Melaka and Perak.

He said two children bitten by a rabid dog in Kuala Sepetang, Perak, on July 4 were given outpatient treatment and were in stable condition.

The Perak Health Department was carrying out control and preventive measures that included detecting other dog bite victims in the area for treatment and observation.

Early lab results were also negative for a six-year-old boy admitted to the Melaka Hospital after he was bitten by a dog in Serian, Sarawak.

“The patient is in stable condition, but further checks and observations will be carried out because the incubation period is quite long,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement.

Those bitten by dogs or cats in Serian between April 1 and July 17, along with those bitten around Kuala Sepetang within the past two weeks, have been urged to get a medical check-up.

The Sarawak Natural Disaster Management Committee reported that 97 new dog bite cases were detected in Serian between July 2 and 17.

Twenty-four of the cases are believed to have happened yesterday, bringing the total number of dog bite cases to 368 since April 1.

A total of 251 people have been vaccinated.

To date, the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department has vaccinated 7,655 pets, including 2,205 dogs, 5,424 cats and 26 other animals.

Ops Bersepadu, organised by the Sarawak Local Government and Housing Ministry with the Veterinary Services Department, has caught 73 stray dogs in Serian town and conducted 69 rabies awareness campaigns.

Seven villages – Tangga, Paon Rimu, Paon Rimu Bakung, Remun, Lebor, Krait and Saroban – have been declared rabies infected areas.