52-year-old man is the 5th rabies victim in Sarawak

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KUCHING - One more person has contracted rabies in Sarawak, and authorities are intensifying efforts to vaccinate more dog bite victims.

On Tuesday, a 52-year-old man from Kampung Remun, Serian, has been confirmed as the fifth rabies victim.

He was bitten by a dog early May.

"On July 11, he felt weak in his legs and experienced numbness, backache and confusion," Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital for treatment.

Four earlier cases have resulted in fatalities.

Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Committee reported that 317 out of 447 people in dog bite cases since April 1 had received anti-rabies vaccination.

"The Health Department is tracing those who have yet to be vaccinated," it said in a statement yesterday.

"Anyone who has been bitten by a dog should wash their wound with soap and water for 15 minutes," it said.

"And, go straight to the nearest clinic or hospital for a check-up and vaccination."

The committee also said a buffer zone would be created between Siburan and Kuching to prevent the spread of the disease to Kuching.

Two days ago, Siburan was one of three new areas declared as rabies-infected, bringing the total to 10.

Pet owners at Padawan have been asked to bring their dogs to be vaccinated at the Kota Padawan community hall from 10am to 4pm today.

They should also keep their pets confined at home to prevent them from mingling with strays.

In addition, the police's mobile patrol vehicles would monitor a 10km radius around the infected areas and notify the local authorities of any stray dogs.

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