Materia Medica Malaysiana

January 22, 2007

Eagle eye on sanctuary to prevent bird flu

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:01 am

NST: IPOH: Random testing on migratory birds at the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary has been stepped up to prevent another bird flu outbreak in the country.
The state Veterinary Services Department has been working hard to obtain swab samples to ascertain if any of the birds at the sanctuary were carriers of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.
The monitoring started in August last year when the birds began their migration to the southern hemisphere.
“More than 2,000 random samples of saliva swabs have been taken from various species of migratory birds at the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary and so far, all have tested negative for the H5N1 bird flu virus,” said state veterinary officer Dr Wan Mohd Kamil Wan Nik.
He told the New Straits Times that more samples were collected during the current migration cycle than in the past.
“We used to collect about 900 random samples during the nine- month period from August to April when they migrate from and back to the northern hemisphere.
“However, after the outbreak last year, we increased the number of samples from 100 each month to 500 now,” he said, adding that outbreaks in several countries around the globe necessitated the collection of more samples.
Dr Wan Mohd Kamil said physical surveillance at the sanctuary to locate dead migratory birds had also been increased but none were found so far.
Migratory birds were suspected to have caused the outbreak in five areas around the country last year, with Perak being the worst hit by the disease which is also fatal to humans.
The H5N1 was first detected at Kampung Pasir, Wardieburn, Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 19. This was followed by Kampung Changkat Tualang in Gopeng and the Ecopark at the Bukit Laketown Resort, both in Perak, on March 16.
The third outbreak was reported in Kampung Permatang Bogak, Seberang Perai, on March 20, followed by Titi Gantung in Perak Tengah the next day.
Nearly 60,000 fowls were culled and more than 8,000 eggs destroyed in the five affected areas.

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