KUCHING, Feb 1 – The sixth victim of rabies in Sarawak, who was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital (HUS) here since August last year, was discharged yesterday. Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the seven-year-old boy from Kampung Kuala, Serian, however, was still bedridden.
“The victim cannot move and depends on others to tend to his every need, unable to breathe properly and needs long-term respiratory support,” he told reporters after meeting with the members of Sarawak Hospitals’ Board Of Visitors and Health Clinic Advisory Panels (South Zone) here today.
Also present were deputy director-general of Health (Public Health) Datuk Dr Azman Abu Bakar and Sarawak Health Department director Dr Jamilah Hashim. As of yesterday, Dr Hilmi said the number of human rabies cases reported in the state remained seven. “Five of the victims have died, one has been allowed to return home and the seventh victim, a 59-year-old man was still receiving treatment at the HUS,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Jamilah said the private clinic, which treated the seventh victim and failed to report the case to the government hospital and the department, was given a warning letter. She said the department had issued guidelines on bite case management since last September and held briefing sessions with private doctors.
“Investigations found that the victim sought treatment at the clinic in November but was not referred to the government health facility for vaccination. The bites healed but last month the man started to show symptoms and he sought treatment at a private hospital before being referred to the HUS,” she said. — Bernama