VIRUS OUTBREAK ‘NOT ENDEMIC’
Malaysia at risk because disease is present in neighbouring countries, says veterinary chief
BEATRICE NITA JAY KUALA LUMPUR firstname.lastname@example.org
THE H5N1 virus outbreak will not be endemic as the disease spreads sporadically, said Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director-general Datuk Dr Kamarudin Md Isa.
He said the department was culling infected chickens within a 10km radius of the infected areas.
“Malaysia is at risk because this disease is present in neighbouring countries, like Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and also South Korea, China and Japan.
“A population with poor biosecurity, especially for ‘ayam kampung’ (freerange chicken) is always a risk for us. DVS has been doing constant surveillance and for the past 10 years, we have been free from this disease,” said Dr Kamarudin.
He also said the source of the outbreak had yet to be determined.
However, the gene analysis by DVS showed that the virus outbreak in Kelantan was similar to the H5N1 outbreak in Vietnam in 2012.
Meanwhile, DVS has confirmed that as of Sunday, no new locations had been confirmed positive for the outbreak.
“Twenty-eight locations in six places in Kelantan were detected to be positive for the outbreak. So far, 33,153 birds have been culled and 13,342 eggs destroyed by the department,” it said yesterday.
DVS also said that 3,127 samples had been obtained from over 525 breeders.
“The team has been sent to capture and cull all fowls around a 1km radius of the infected areas. This does not mean they are infected. However, this process needs to be done to create a buffer to prevent further spread of the disease.”
The statement said an active surveillance team had been directed for clinical observation of all fowls, cloacal swabs and carcasses, if any.
The disease was contained within a 30km radius from Kampung Pulau Tebu which involved six places — Kota Baru, Pasir Mas, Pasir Puteh, Tumpat, Tanah Merah and Bachok.
DVS has assured that all broiler chicken and eggs were safe for consumption and asked the public to report any fowl deaths.
A team from the Kelantan Veterinary Services Department trapping a ‘ayam kampung’ (free-range chicken) in Kampung Kubang Bemban, Pasir Mas yesterday.