Junz Wong: Child infected with JE, situation not serious, pigs in the clear

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Jul 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah veterinary officers are checking on all pig breeding farms in interior Tambunan, after Health Department officials alerted them that a child had been infected by the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus.

Sabah Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Junz Wong said Sabah Veterinary Services Department officials were taking precautionary measures after human infection was detected.

"It is human infection, not infection of pigs," he said, disputing earlier reports.

"We have not detected any infection among the pigs. It is safe to consume," he said in clearing the air over an official veterinary department letter stating that a case of JE had been detected in Kg Lubang in Tambunan about 100km from here.

"So far, it is not serious, we are just taking precautionary measures," he said.

The Sabah Health Department has yet to make any statement on the JE case detected on the child from Tambunan.

Wong said that standard procedure veterinary department checks were being done in Kg Lubang, where there are seven breeders and 80 pigs.

Sabah Health Department has not made any official statement on the JE detection in Tambunan.

Sabah Health and Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Phoon said that they were checking with the Health Department.

He added authorities have explained that there is no cure for JE but vaccinations are encouraged as a form of protection.

JE is a type of viral brain infection that can affect both humans and animals, and is passed to humans from infected animals through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito.

According to medical authorities, an infected person develops inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and suffers symptoms such as sudden onset of headache, high fever, neck stiffness, tremors and convulsions, muscles weakness and even coma.

Last month, the Sarawak Health Department had also urged public to be cautious after confirming JE was endemic in the state with five cases.

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