NO WED­DING BELLS FOR KOTA BARU MAN AS H5N1 HITS HOME

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

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.

PIC BY SHAH­NAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

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.

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