Vet dept administering rabies vaccination after outbreak in Taiping

Dr Quaza urged pet owners in Taiping to bring their pets to be given vaccination shots starting tomorrow. — Bernama pic

IPOH, Jan 14 — The Veterinary Services Department (DVS) will vaccinate pets in the vicinity of Taiping from tomorrow following reports of rabies.

DVS director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said this was after three strays in the area were found to be infected with the virus following a report that a dog was infected by the deadly disease.

In a statement here today, Dr Quaza said a resident of Taman Sri Kota Fasa 2 in Taiping had reported that two family members were bitten by their pet dog on December 25.

“The dog was later put down by its owner on January 3 and a sample taken from the dog was confirmed to contain rabies,” he said.

Dr Quaza added that the department quickly swung into action and samples were taken from strays within a 2km radius from the first point of infection to determine the spread of the disease.

“Of the 30 samples taken from strays in the 2km radius, three were found to be positive for rabies,” he said, adding the strays were picked up at Tupai Business Centre and Pekan Sri Boyan.

Following the detection of rabies, Dr Quaza said Taiping and Bukit Gantang have been declared as rabies-infected areas from today.

“We have now widened the sampling area to a 10km radius,” he said, adding that strays found in the area would be put down starting today.

Dr Quaza urged pet owners to bring their pets to be given vaccination shots.

“They should also keep their pets in cages and avoid allowing them to roam outside to avoid getting bitten by rabies-infected dogs and cats,” he said, urging the people to stay away from strays.

Members of the public, he said, could report to the department or the local council if they find strays in certain areas.

The department can be contacted at 05-8072703.

In July 2017, two sisters aged 12 and 11 from Kuala Sepetang in Taiping were vaccinated as a precautionary measure after they were bitten by their rabid pet dog.

The dog, which was put down by a private veterinarian, was confirmed to have had rabies based on samples taken from its brain.