The Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) has confirmed via a statement that 39 dogs have been tested positive for rabies up until 18th September 2015.
According to a report by Astro Awani, citing the DVS, of that number, 19 dogs tested positive in Perlis, 17 in Kedah, and 3 in Penang.
The department had carried out tests on 110 dogs in the 3 states which had been declared rabies-infected areas by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek on 17th September.
It also said some 2,104 canines have been vaccinated up until 18th September. From that number, 1,639 dogs were vaccinated in Kedah while the remaining 465 in Perlis.
In a seperate report by CNA, the DVS said that it has enough rabies vaccine to last them till the new shipment arrives in about a week. Malaysia is awaiting the arrival of 50,000 doses of rabies vaccination from France as it works to contain a rabies outbreak in its northern states.
The CNA report also stated that 2,140 dogs have been put down across Perlis, Kedah, and Penang.
Rabies’ symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion, and can lead to coma and brain death. The virus is believed to have spread from a neighbouring country, possibly Thailand.
Malaysia was declared rabies-free by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 2012. The last rabies outbreak in Malaysia was in 1999.