Thursday, July 26, 2012

Malaysia: Kelantan holds exercise to contain bird flu

26 July 2012

PASIR MAS: Two departments in Kelantan conducted a joint exercise to contain the spread of H5N1, or bird flu, which was reported in several countries.

Kelantan Veterinary and Health Department officers sanitising the pit where culled chickens are supposed to be buried in an exercise to contain bird flu yesterday.

The exercise in Kampung Jintan here yesterday involved 80 officers from the state Veterinary and Health Departments.

Kelantan Veterinary director Datuk Dr Mohd Zairi Serian said they decided to conduct the exercise in case the disease hit the state.

"We have to conduct the exercise from now on so that we can identify our weakness.

"From here, we can also improve our skill in handling the problem in the event that the flu outbreak hits our country.

"Besides, we also want to ensure our officers are prepared."

He said it was important to take precautions as the disease had hit several countries such as in Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Dr Zairi said Kelantan was the third state to organise the exercise after Johor and Penang.

The department was expected to hold similar exercises once a year.

During yesterday's three-hour exercise, officers were seen taking swabs from chicken reared by villagers to be sent for analysis to see if they contained the H5N1 virus.

On Aug 17, 2004, the virus was reportedly detected in a farm in Kampung Baru Pasir Pekan, Tumpat.

Following the discovery, about 200 chickens, ducks and other birds in the village were culled.

The village and surrounding areas within a 10km radius were quarantined.

The virus was reportedly discovered in poultry during a check on the village following reports that chickens in Narathiwat, Thailand, had been infected by the virus.

Read more: Kelantan holds exercise to contain bird flu - General - New Straits Times

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