H5N1 outbreak fully contained, no more worries

By Melissa Darlyne Chow

KUALA LUMPUR: The H5N1 avian flu outbreak has been contained and there is no reason to worry, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the recent outbreak only involved free range chickens and not commercial poultry.

“The outbreak problem has been overcome. It is no longer something that worries us,” he said in reply to a question from Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Kader.

In light of concerns by consumers over the safety of chicken sold in the market, Syed Ibrahim wanted to know the measures being taken to ensure they are safe to eat and that the handling of the chickens are under control.

Tajuddin said following the first case of the flu that was detected on Feb 28 at Kampung Pulau Tebu in Tunjung, Kelantan, the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) had already been mobilised to take immediate control measures.

“These include stamping out all fowls within a 1km radius of the infected areas; and bacterial disinfection after the stamping out at premises that store the fowls, to destroy the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

“We also carry out surveillance activities between a 1 and 10km radius from the infected area and to set up roadblocks as a means of controlling the movement of fowls,” he said.

Tajuddin further stated that no new cases has been reported, but surveillance is still being carried out.

On March 15, it was reported that the Kelantan government declared the bird flu outbreak in the state as a disaster situation after some chickens died from the disease in Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjong here on March 6.