Dr Subra: No H5N1 human transmission cases

KUALA LUMPUR: There has been no human transmission of the H5N1 avian influenza since it was detected in Kelantan earlier this month.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramanian said no cases of bird flu were found among those living in the areas where the H5N1 virus was detected in poultry since March 6.

"As of March 22, there are 28 locations in six districts in Kelantan where we are carrying out active human monitoring after H5N1 was detected among dead poultry.

"So far there has been no cases of H5N1 among humans," he said when answering a question by Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (BN-Tanah Merah) during Minister's Question Time in Parliament Thursday.

Dr Subramaniam said that monitoring for signs of avian flu was done within a 300m radius of where dead poultry is found.

He added that health officers would also monitor and engage with the local communities living within a 10km radius of the 28 areas where H5N1 was detected.

He said the H5N1 virus was found at 14 locations in Kota Baru, six in Pasir Puteh and Tumpat respectively and one each in Bachok and Pasir Mas.

Dr Subramaniam also dismissed talk that health personnel involved in the operations had caught the H5N1 flu.

"All personnel must wear masks, gloves and boots as a preventive measure and those who were down with flu-like illness did not have H5N1.

"If any of our personnel are ill, they will surely be given priority treatment," he added.

Ikmal Hisham had asked Dr Subramaniam if recent talk of health personnel contracting H5N1 were true.

Meanwhile, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said that all poultry and chicken eggs within a 1km radius of the affected areas were destroyed.

"A total of 37,555 chickens and 15,348 eggs were destroyed by the Veterinary Department," he said.

He added that 3,457 samples were taken from poultry breeders for screening.


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