Another suspected rabies case in Serian

hilmiGEORGE TOWN: Another patient is being treated in a Sarawak hospital for suspected infection of the rabies virus.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the ministry was still waiting for the patient’s medical test results.

He said if found positive for rabies, that patient would be the fourth person to have contracted the disease.

“I’ve been informed about this new suspected case from the same affected area, and we are conducting tests and investigating whether the patient is actually infected with rabies or not.

He told reporters that he could not comment further on the issue but that the authorities were giving appropriate treatment to the patient.

He was speaking after the handing out of a RM100,000 contribution from the UEM Edgenta Berhad zakat fund to Penang Hospital (HPP) here today.

The contribution is for needy patients who require medical treatment, including surgery, at the hospital. Also present were UEM Edgenta managing director and chief executive officer Azmir Merican and HPP director Dr Norsidah Ismail.

On the seven-year-old girl currently being treated for rabies at the intensive care unit of the Sarawak General Hospital, Hilmi said the child was still in critical condition.

Three children including two siblings, aged six and four, from the Serian district were confirmed to have contracted rabies after being bitten by a dog.

On July 4, Monica Mazlan and her brother Jackson, from Kampung Paon, Sungai Rimu, Serian, died after their parents allowed them to be removed from the life support system upon being confirmed as brain-dead.

It is not know whether the other victim was bitten by a dog or not.

On another note, Hilmi expressed hope that more companies, especially government-linked companies, would contribute to the welfare fund of government hospitals nationwide to assist needy patients requiring treatment for chronic diseases or surgery.

“The government has indeed set up the welfare fund, and each year, RM30 million to RM40 million is allocated for the fund but the amount is still insufficient to assist needy patients,” he said.