Serian Villagers Agree To Kill Pets If Only To Stop Spread Of Rabies

SERIAN: Cosmas Luak is willing to put his four dogs to sleep to prevent the spread of the rabies virus. According to Cosmas, his dogs were attacked by a stray dog sometime after the Gawai festival.

The 61-year-old pensioner said staff from the Sarawak Health and Veterinary Services departments will be visiting his village again Monday to have all cats and dogs registered and examined.

For illustration only. – Photo credit MIMS

Cosmas said those who had been bitten by cats or dogs would also be checked, adding that it was only last week that the residents had killed dogs suspected to be carrying the rabies virus.

Another resident of Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu and Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu Bakung, Lainus Luak, 74, said all dogs and cats have to be locked up in the process of detecting the infected animals.

“They (health authorities) also told us to inform if there is any sick or dead animal for them to examine,” he said.

The residents were also informed that the rabies vaccine would arrive Monday.

The health ministry on Friday confirmed that three children, including two siblings from Kampung Paon Sungai Rimu Bakung and Kampung Lebur, Gedong, in Serian district, had been infected with rabies.

The siblings are a four-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl while the third victim is a seven-year-old girl.

All three remain in critical condition at Sarawak General Hospital’s intensive care unit, while Sarawak Health director Dr Jamilah Hashim said the department had not received any report of new cases.