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Take Rabies More Seriously, Says Family Of Latest Victim
Heavy hearted: Dr Sim (left) conveying his condolences to Lee over the death of Bong.
February 6th, 2018 | 12:25 PM | 666 views
The family of Bong Fah Sin, the sixth person to die from rabies in Sarawak since July, has urged the public, as well as private clinics, to be more serious about the disease.
This is because Bong, 59, was not referred to the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) immediately for anti-rabies vaccination after he was bitten by a dog in November.
“He sought treatment at a private clinic on Nov 27,” daughter Kim Bong said, “and had seemed all right afterwards.”
“He was bitten on both ankles when he went to a friend’s house along Jalan Batu Kawa-Matang,” she said.
“The wounds healed quite quickly and he did not show any symptoms.
“We thought he would be fine as the clinic gave him an injection and medication.”
But last month, Bong began suffering muscle pain and weak limbs.
When his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to a private hospital on Jan 24 and referred to SGH the following day after showing symptoms of hydrophobia, hallucination and aggression.
On Jan 26, a lab test confirmed that he had rabies encephalitis.
He passed away at 4.44pm on Sunday.
“I feel that people need to be more aware of the danger of rabies,” Kim said at the family home here yesterday.
“Now that there is an outbreak, people need to realise that a dog bite can lead to rabies.
“The clinic that treated my father should have informed him about rabies and referred him to SGH for vaccination. This is such an important matter.
“People’s lives are at stake.”
Kim, the second of four children, said the family was shocked by the rabies diagnosis.
“My mother still cannot accept his death. My father had made plans to hold an open house on the first day of Chinese New Year but now that this has happened, we will not be celebrating.
“He was a very friendly person and his friends also cannot accept that he has gone so suddenly,” she added.
On Jan 28, it was reported that private clinics and hospitals should refer animal bite cases to government health facilities immediately for further treatment and anti-rabies vaccination.
The State Disaster Management Committee also said health authorities would issue a warning letter to the clinic, where Bong sought treatment, for failing to follow guidelines.
SUPP president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who conveyed his condolences to Bong’s widow Lee Joon Kiew and her family yesterday, said it was “very sad” that there was another death because of rabies.
“The state government will continue its efforts to prevent further loss of life. This requires a lot of cooperation and help from everyone.
If you are bitten by a dog, go to a government hospital for anti-rabies vaccination,” he said.
courtesy of THE STAR
by Sharon Ling
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