KOTA KINABALU: The Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus has been detected in Tambunan, about 100km from here, says the state Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Junz Wong on Tuesday (July 16).
He said Health Department officials in Sabah had detected the virus in a pig farm in Kampung Lubang, Tambunan on July 11.
On being informed, the Department of Veterinary Services started inspection at all seven pig farms within the vicinity.
"My officers are still on the ground and taking samples from the pigs in the area.
"So far, it is not serious but we must take precautionary measures now," he said, adding that his office would give an update on the situation once results were available.
Wong's confirmation came after an internal memo from the Veterinary Department informing the department that health officials had found a case of JE in Tambunan.
There is no cure for JE, but vaccinations are encouraged by health officials as they provide a form of protection.
JE is a type of viral brain infection that can affect both humans and animals. It can be passed on to humans by infected animals through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito.
An infected person develops inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and suffers symptoms such as sudden onset of headache, high fever, neck stiffness, convulsions and muscles weakness, and might even fall into a coma.
Last month, the Sarawak Health Department urged public to be cautious after confirming five JE cases in the state.