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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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