KUCHING, Oct 10 — Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah reiterated today that anyone injured by a cat or dog should seek immediate treatment for rabies.
“This simple rule will save your life,” he said when commenting on the latest report of a 64-year old man in Mukah who died on August 19 after he was bitten by a rabid dog on May 21 this year.
The rabid dog died two days after it had bitten the man.
The man’s death brought to 20 the total number of human deaths since the outbreak of rabies in Sarawak in July 2017.
Uggah, who is also state disaster management committee chairman, said the man was bitten by one of the two dogs that he had adopted from a relative in Kanowit.
He said based on the report from the State Veterinary Office in Mukah, the man was bitten when he was feeding them.
“Although he was advised to seek treatment for the bite wound, he refused saying it was not serious,” he said, adding that it was only on August 6 that he sought treatment at the Bintulu Hospital where he died at its intensive care unit.
Uggah said the man would not have succumbed to rabies had he heeded the common advice.
He said anyone who has been bitten by dogs or cats must wash the bite wound with soap and running water for at least 15 minutes.
He said they should then seek treatment soon at rabies clinic especially set up at the government hospitals regardless of the severity of the wound.
He added many lives have been saved after treatment at the clinic.
Uggah said according to the Health Ministry's records, dog and cat bite cases were still high in the state, averaging from 40 to 60 cases daily.
He also advised pet lovers to seek background information on their pets to check whether the animals have received anti-rabies vaccination and when, before adopting them.