KOTA KINABALU: After the detection of bird flu virus in Tuaran near here, the public, especially poultry farmers, are advised to take precautions.
Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Junz Wong said although there was only one positive case detected from a dead chicken on July 31, it was best to take measures to prevent the virus from spreading (to other chickens) or even infecting humans.
"First and foremost, no one should buy live poultry from farms in Tuaran," he said.
"Those which have been slaughtered are safe for consumption, but it has to be fully cooked."
Wong said poultry workers are advised to put on face masks, gloves and other necessary items when dealing with the animals.
"Maintain hygiene at all times," he said, adding that those with symptoms such as sore throat, cough, headache, high fever, muscle and joint pain as well as fatigue must seek medical attention immediately.
He said the ministry together with the Health Department and Department of Veterinary Services have moved in to contain the problem.
On Friday (Aug 3), Wong said over 10,000 poultry birds from farms in Tuaran and areas within a 1km radius from where the case was detected will be culled.
He said these animals needed to be destroyed to ensure that no virus was spread out of the contaminated zone.
This operation is from follow-up inspections after a WhatsApp message, claiming there was an avian flu outbreak in Sabah, went viral early July.
Wong said almost a thousand samples (of poultry) were taken and examined, and only one was found to have the virus.