Malaysia raises alert as bird flu virus hits more birds

March 16, 2017

Malaysian authorities raised an alert for a northeastern state after the virulent H5N1 bird flu virus was found to have spread to poultry in more villages.

Some 24,000 birds have been culled in Kelantan state since the H5N1 strain was reported March 6 after several backyard poultry died.

Che Abdullah Mat Nawi, who heads Kelantan's agricultural committee, said Thursday that free-range chickens reared by residents in 20 villages have been affected. He said the state is getting more manpower and resources to survey a wider area to contain the spread of the virus.

"The situation is getting more serious but it is not yet an emergency situation as there is no transmission of the virus from bird to human. We have raised the alert so that we can pool resources from different departments" to curb the spread of the virus, he told The Associated Press.

Che Abdullah said commercial bird farms in the state were not affected by the virus.

The H5N1 strain is highly contagious and linked by the World Health Organization to hundreds of deaths worldwide over the last decade.

Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said health officials have screened more than 3,500 villagers in the affected areas. More than a dozen people showing bird flu symptoms tested negative for the virus, he said.

Veterinary officials told local media that the virus could have been due to cockfighting activities involving roosters from neighboring countries.

Che Abdullah said officials believed the virus was imported but have not determined the cause of the outbreak.

Explore further: Some China cities close poultry markets amid bird flu fears

Related Stories

Spain to cull 17,000 ducks as bird flu hits

February 23, 2017

More than 17,000 ducks will be culled in Spain after a highly contagious bird flu strain that has affected poultry throughout Europe was detected at a farm, authorities said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Aquafarmers on the front lines

September 10, 2018

Many of the world's future farmers will likely be farming oceans, as aquaculture—the cultivation of fish and other aquatic species—continues its expansion as the fastest growing food sector. New research shows that in ...

Jumping genes drive sex chromosome changes in strawberries

September 10, 2018

The transfer of gene cassettes across generations of strawberry plants has been shown to drive changes in sex chromosomes, according to a team led by a researcher from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological ...

First interactive model of human cell division

September 10, 2018

Mitosis—how one cell divides and becomes two—is one of the fundamental processes of life. Researchers at EMBL have now produced the first interactive map of proteins that make our cells divide, allowing users to track ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.