KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Health Department is fully prepared to handle the bird flu outbreak in Kampung Kaulan, Tuaran, said its state director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi.
She said that as her department was constantly monitoring possible outbreaks of the avian influenza virus H5N1, they have an action plan set in place to contain the disease.
"We are well-equipped to handle the outbreak, as we run simulations every year and thus, we have an action plan.
"Our team in on the ground daily to assess the risk of the disease being transmitted to humans," said Rundi.
She explained that no infection of bird flu virus has been detected among people in the affected area so far.
"Only birds were infected," she said, urging the media not to blow the issue out of proportion.
Last Friday (Aug 4), Kampung Kaulan was declared as a bird flu outbreak area after tests on a chicken farm came back positive for the avian influenza virus.
Sabah Agriculture and Food Industries minister Junz Wong said in order to stop the virus from spreading, the department will cull 28,000 chickens within a kilometre radius of the affected area.
Some 471 villagers reportedly live within the 1km radius that was red-flagged by the department.
On an separate matter, Rundi said 2,611 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) have been reported in Sabah as of 3pm Monday (Aug 6).
She added that a total of 24 educational institutions in Sabah have been ordered to close to prevent the spread of the disease.
Rundi spoke to reporters after launching the state-level celebration of World Breastfeeding Week here on Tuesday (Aug 7).