KELANTAN AVIAN FLU UNDER CONTROL
THE avian flu H5N1 in Kelantan is under control and no new cases have been reported since the last one on March 2, said state Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi.
He said the first case was detected in Kampung Pulau Tebu in Tunjong here on Feb 28 and two more cases two days later involving 15 free-range chickens or
“From the 15 chickens, five tested positive for H5N1. The case is limited to one village.
“No new cases were reported elsewhere,” he said after chairing an animal disease control action committee meeting here yesterday.
Present was Kelantan Veterinary Department deputy director Dr Mazlan Mohd Salleh.
Abdullah said 227, or 80 per cent of birds in the village, had been culled, and 253 eggs destroyed since then.
He said the exercise was expected to be completed by tomorrow.
“The culling is done mostly at night as most house owners are working during the day and it is easier to catch the birds at the time. Birds that sleep high up in trees are shot.”
He said the Veterinary Department staff went around the village to issue notices during the day and informing house owners of the culling.
He said besides free-range chickens, other birds culled included ducks, geese, pigeons and guinea fowl.
He said the departments involved had taken immediate measures, including placing police roadblocks within a 1km radius of the village.
Roadblocks were also set up at the border of Kelantan and other states to ensure the birds from the village were not taken out.
He said vehicles leaving the village were disinfected.
“Health teams from the district office have gone to meet residents within 300m of the affected houses to ensure no one is down with fever or flu. So far, the results are negative,” he said.
Kelantan last recorded a mass outbreak of avian flu in 2004, when thousands of birds were culled.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Health Ministry, meanwhile, was looking for the cause of the outbreak and whether the H5N1 virus could have originated from Thailand.
Its minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, said the authorities would take preventive measures to contain the virus in the state, after the three cases involving chicken were recorded in one village.
He said there were no reports of humans infected by the virus.
“The infections came from (a village in) northern Kelantan.
“I was informed that chickens within a 2km radius are being culled to ensure that the disease does not spread,” he said at Parliament lobby here yesterday.
He advised people handling chicken in nearby areas to take measures to ensure the virus did not spread to them.
“We will be on standby to see if people in that area display flulike symptoms.”
Kelantan Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi says no new cases of H5N1 have been reported since March 2 in the state.