Sunday, June 10, 2007

Eleven Malaysians being checked for bird flu

KUALA LUMPUR - A total of eleven Malaysians were under observation in hospital Saturday as officials denied there was a second outbreak of bird flu in the country.

The latest suffering ill health are two young boys, who were diagnosed with high fevers in northern Kedah state after playing with chickens which later died in their village, said Zainuddin Wahab, the health ministry’s deputy director for disease control.

However no H5N1 virus has been found among the latest birds that died, he said.

“In the first place, the veterinary department confirmed that there was no bird flu detected among the dead chickens in the village there, so the source of the infection is not H5N1. It’s definitely not bird flu,” Zainuddin said.

Officials on Saturday said all of those hospitalised are in stable condition and did not show symptoms of being infected by the virulent H5N1 virus.

Five others aged between 11 months and 35 years, who were hospitalised Friday are also stable. All live within 300 metres (328 yards) of the Wednesday outbreak — Malaysia’s first in more than a year — on the outskirts of the capital.

Health officials have conducted checks on 476 houses and 3,204 residents of Sungai Buloh and a neighbouring village where 60 chickens have died of the H5N1 strain, in central Selangor state.

Two young boys, aged 13 and 7, were also hospitalised in southern Malacca state with flu-like symptoms after they had visited relatives in Selangor, the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre said Saturday.

“At present all the 11 cases are under investigation. All the cases do not meet the definition of the avian influenza infection among humans,” Mohamad Faid from the crisis centre told AFP.

“In eight of the cases, including one boy in Malacca, results have showed negative for avian influenza infection. We have yet to receive reports on the other cases,” he said.

To contain the disease, more than 3,000 birds have been slaughtered within a one-kilometre radius of the outbreak while more birds will be culled within the next two days, officials said.

Bird flu story source: Khaleej Times Via AFP

Posted by john T. on 06/10 at 07:32 PM
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