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Bird flu outbreak controlled so far, say authorities

Published on 06 August 2018|
2 min read

Around 28,000 chickens have been culled since a farm in Tuaran-Tamparuli tested positive for bird flu.

After a chicken farm tested positive for avian influenza  known as bird flu, with H5N1 being the most common strain) last Thursday, authorities have kicked into high gear to stop the spread of the virus. Both the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry and Health and People’s Well-being Ministry are working closely together in this effort, say news reports.

Authorities cull infected birds in two chicken farms

On Saturday, Sabah Veterinary Services Department (JPV) compounded all chickens found within the designated radius, amounting to around 28,000 birds. This was after a dead bird tested positive for the virus.

As of today, these steps are being taken to halt the spread of contamination:

  • Culling of birds found in one-km radius of contaminated area (28,000 birds)
  • Proper elimination and disposal of infected birds by JPV to take around one week
  • Community briefing planned by JPV for the village chiefs as well as various committees in affected areas

According to authorities, no human infection has been recorded and we can still eat chickens being sold. Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Junz Wong has also cautioned all poultry workers to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation at all times. A special team has also been set up by various ministries to monitor the situation.

What is bird flu?

Avian influenza is a type of virus that mainly affects birds, but can also be transmitted to human beings and other animals. If you come into contact with a carrier, you may stand a chance of contracting bird flu. The virus is passed to humans through infected bird faeces or secretions from the mouth, eyes or nose.

Credit: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

You cannot contract the virus if you eat fully cooked eggs or poultry of infected birds, so as long as you take precautions in cooking and cleaning, there should be no danger.

What symptoms should we look out for?

The symptoms of bird flu are similar to the normal flu, such as cough, diarrhoea, fever above 38 C, headache and body aches, malaise, runny nose and sore throat. If you find yourself presenting these symptoms and are worried (especially if you have come into contact with live poultry), do let the hospital or clinic know in advance before going.

Featured Image Credit: South China Morning Post

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