VIRUS OUT­BREAK ‘NOT EN­DEMIC’

Malaysia at risk be­cause dis­ease is present in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, says ve­teri­nary chief

New Straits Times - - News -

BEATRICE NITA JAY KUALA LUMPUR news@nst.com.my

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.

SUHAIMI PIC BY SYAMSI

A team from the Ke­lan­tan Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices Depart­ment trap­ping a ‘ayam kam­pung’ (free-range chicken) in Kam­pung Kubang Bem­ban, Pasir Mas yes­ter­day.

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