POKOK SENA, Sept 19 – Kedah Veterinary Services Department director Dr Kamaliah Ghazali said besides of the vaccinating of their canines, owners also should confine their pets for at least two months to prevent their pets to contact with the stray dogs, either through bite or saliva, as this also could cause the spread of the virus.
“Two months’ was a confinement period that most important as it was believed that the virus could be easily spread within the period. So, we hope that the pets owner to confine their pets within an enclosed space due to the other infected dogs could bite the canines once the dogs escape and owner could be bitten by their own dogs,” she told a press conference here on Saturday.
Therefore, there were six cases of people having been bitten by dogs at Kota Setar and Kubang Pasu. In the meantime, there were also a person who suffered a dog bite tested positive for the disease in Tanjung Bendahara, Alor Star on Sept 15,” said Dr Kamaliah.
“Meanwhile the department would also applied for additional vaccines from Putrajaya as the existing vaccines could only cater to 20% of about 20,000 dogs in the state. So far, there were 800 rabies vaccinations had been carried out in Kota Setar and Kubang Pasu each started from early of this year,” she aded.
She also said that the department was in the midst of giving free vaccinations to the following of the spread of the disease. In the same time, she said the dog owners can get their canines vaccinated in the state at the Veterinary Services Department were also just costs for RM5 only.
Seven districts areas which namely Kubang Pasu, Kota Setar, Pokok Sena, Padang Terap, Pendang, Sik and Baling, have been gazetted under Section 42 of the Animals Act 1952 (Act 647). In additional, the seven districts areas also have been categorised as the rabies immune belt.
Perlis, Kedah and Penang have been declared rabies-infected as of Sept 17. However, no human beings have tested positive for the disease so far. At Sept 17, there were 39 cases of people having been bitten by dogs in Perlis (25 cases), Kedah (9 cases) and Penang (5 cases). In the same time, 39 dogs were also confirmed to be rabid.