KUCHING, July 4 — The Sarawak state government has declared five villages in the Serian district as areas with rabies infections, deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced today.
The villages are Kampung Kerait, Kampung Paon Rimu, Kampung Paun Rimu Bakung, Kampung Remun and Kampung Lebor.
“The state disaster management committee discussed the rabies outbreak in this meeting and has declared these villages as rabies-infected area(s) under Section 37 of the state Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999,” he told reporters after chairing the committee meeting.
Uggah, who is also the chairman of the committee, said he has also issued the Anti-Rabies Vaccination Order to vaccinate all dogs in the infected and surveillance areas within a 10km radius.
He said the disaster management committee set the limit to a 10km radius as dogs infected with the rabies virus were likely to move about before they eventually die of the disease.
He said the disaster management committee is sending out vaccination teams to the affected villages today to carry out the vaccination initially inside the infected zones, before going to areas within the surveillance zones.
He urged for full cooperation of all household dog owners to have their dogs vaccinated as soon as possible so to contain and eradicate the outbreak in the shortest possible time.
He added that the disaster management committee is working closely with the Medical Department, federal Department of Veterinary Services, police, army, Serian district council, Serian district office, private clinic veterinarians, the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the local communities to control and eradicate the disease from the state.
Uggah, who is also the state minister of modernisation of agriculture, native land and regional development, urged anyone to contact the state Veterinary Department at 082-612949 or 082- 611607 for any query on the rabies outbreak.
Three children, aged four, six and seven years, from Serian are still at the Intensive Care Unit of the Sarawak General Hospital after they were infected with the rabies virus.