19 July, 2017
He said in a website post that the man had been bitten by a dog in early May and that he developed what is believed to be symptoms of the disease on July 11 and was admitted to the Sarawak General Hospital.
PENANG authorities are on high alert following reports of a rabies case in Kuala Sepetang in Taiping, Perak.
The agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development and health committee chairman told a press conference that the DVS took 32 samples from dogs this year and all tested negative for rabies so far.
The department confirmed on Saturday that the dog had rabies and Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir declared the Matang sub-district a rabies-infected area.
The man is the fifth person in Serian to have contracted rabies while four people have died of the disease. "We will wait for the results on three more dogs before de-gazetting the area", Mah said after chairing the first meeting of the task force today.
Penang's last rabies outbreak saw VSD culling over 2,000 stray dogs.
Five samples that were taken from several dogs culled by the Veterinary Services Department in Kuala Sepetang, about 70km from Ipoh, have tested negative for rabies.
He said there were 10,000 stray dogs in Penang, which would make it hard to keep track of any rabies outbreak, but added that about 7,000 dogs have been registered and vaccinated so far.
He asked animal welfare groups and those who regularly fed stray dogs to keep an eye out for behavioural changes in packs they were familiar with, to aid in curbing the spread of rabies.
VSD statistics show that there are an estimated 10,000 dogs in Penang, with majority on the mainland. The rest are owner-registered, licensed and vaccinated.
He said Penang had enough rabies vaccine in government agencies, such as the state Veterinary Services Department offices in Bukit Tengah and Jalan Gurdwara, and the Seberang Prai Municipal Council, as well as private animal clinics.
Mah, who is also State Health Committee chairman, said a total of 65 dogs and 67 cats had been vaccinated.
He also advised pet owners to get a VSD Malaysia Pet Passport at a reduced rate of RM7 (usual fee RM35), which included an identification chip.
He said the public should contact the VSD Rabies Operations Room at 04-504-1047 to report any incidence of dogs or other pets acting up.