BALIK PULAU, July 4 — The Health Ministry has not ruled out the possibility the rabies or mad dog virus that infected three children in Serian, Sarawak could have been transmitted from Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said previously nine similar cases were reported in that neighbouring country and his ministry did not rule out that possibility due to the position of Serian, which lies next to Kalimantan, as the source of the rabies outbreak in the district.

“But the public need not worry because it is under control and so far there are no new rabies positive cases reported in Sarawak or any other states.         

“The Health Department with the cooperation of the Veterinary Department in every state is constantly monitoring the situation,” he told reporters after flagging off the 29th Kuala Lumpur SEA Games Torch Run in Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sungai Rusa, Balik Pulau Parliamentary constituency level here today.

On Saturday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said three children, including two siblings, aged four, six and seven, in Serian district, Sarawak were infected by rabies, which was notified by the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching on June 22.

Dr Noor Hisham said further investigation found that two of the victims had a history of being bitten by a dog about a month or two before manifestation of the symptoms while it could not be ascertained whether the third victim was ever bitten by a dog. 

Dr Hilmi said the ministry also took several control and preventive measures, including conducting thorough investigation on the actual cause of the rabies outbreak in Serian.

Asked on the latest development in the condition of the three infected children, he said until yesterday their condition was still critical and they were being treated and closely monitored by specialists at the Sarawak General Hospital. — Bernama