NO WEDDING BELLS FOR KOTA BARU MAN AS H5N1 HITS HOME
KUALA LUMPUR: The public should not be worried over the outbreak of avian flu (H5N1) which was discovered in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjung, near Kota Baru, Kelantan, on Sunday.
Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said measures had been carried out by the state Health Department to prevent the disease from spreading.
“Prevention and control measures were executed based on the Avian Influenza Management Guidelines 2004 by the Health Ministry.
“Detection activities have been conducted on a 300m radius of the site where the chickens died,” he said.
Fifty-eight homes were checked during the operation, involving 235 locals, 21 health officers and 45 veterinary department officers.
Seven people were found to have mild symptoms and were isolated at the nearest hospital. They were discharged the next day as they were found to be free from the disease.
He said one other patient, a villager who was sent to Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital, was in a stable condition.
“The laboratory result was negative of H5N1 but he was positive for Influenza B. Thus there was no human transmission of H5N1 among the locals,” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said health promotion activities in the area had been increased.
He advised the health care personnel to improve infection control procedures at their premises.
“The signs and symptoms of bird flu are high fever (above 38ºC), sore throat, cough, headache, muscle pain, joint pain or fatigue,” he said.
He urged people to seek immediate treatment if they had these symptoms and had exposure to dead chicken which tested positive for H5N1, or dead poultry.
“Covering the mouth and nose while handling poultry is mandatory. Using gloves, aprons and shoes can reduce transmission.
“People must also acquire the habit of washing hands using soap and water,” he said.
Poultry, including free-range chickens, was culled to prevent the spread of avian flu H5N1 after it was detected in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjung, near Kota Baru, Kelantan recently.