Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Humans Unaffected By Recent Bird Flu Outbreak, Says Health Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry has confirmed that all the 46 people monitored for suspected bird flu in Selangor, Kedah, Terengganu and Melaka since Tuesday were not infected by the H5N1 virus.
Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said they were only categorised as patients under investigation because they did not display the normal symptoms of bird flu infection.
He said 30 of them were monitored in their homes and the rest at the hospitals where they had been admitted.
"Of the 16 placed in isolation wards, 11 were confirmed to be negative. Of these, nine were allowed to return home and two have been placed in the normal ward.
"Only four people from Kampung Paya Jaras Hilir, Sungai Buloh, are still being kept in isolation. They are in stable condition and are waiting for the results of tests done before being allowed to go home," he said.
The H5N1 virus surfaced in Kampung Paya Jaras Hilir on June 2, causing 3,962 chickens, ducks and other birds in the village to be culled by the Veterinary Services Department.
Dr Chua said crisis management operations rooms were opened up simultaneously on Thursday at the Selangor Health Department, Petaling Health Office and Sungai Buloh Hospital and coordinated by the Disease Control Division of the ministry in Putrajaya to combat the outbreak.
The centre can be contacted at 03-8881 0600 or 03-8881 0700.
In KUALA TERENGGANU, siblings Mohd Yassir Arafad, 16, and Mohd Khairul Izwan, 13, who were admitted to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital for suspected bird flu, have been declared to be free of the virus.
Yassir, a Form Four student of Sekolah Menengah Ibrahim Fikri, and Khairul, who were admitted after complaining of fever on Saturday, returned home at 1.45 pm today.
Their father, Johari Yahya, 48, a Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council employee, said he was thankful and happy that his children are free of the virus.
"This is good news indeed and it means that my family will no longer be quarantined and I can return to work tomorrow," he told Bernama.
Johari said the family planned to hold a "kenduri" (feast) to thank God for good fortune and for having spared them from the deadly virus.

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