Avian Influenza
Bird flu confirmed in Kuala Lumpur, chickens culled
Feb 22, 2006 - 3:34:37 PM

Malaysia has confirmed that the death of 40 free range chicken found in the capital was caused by the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza, a report said Tuesday.

"Tests have confirmed that the birds, which died last week were caused by the H5N1 strain," Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister, Muhyddin Yassin told the Star newspaper.

"However, this is only an isolated case and all 110 chicken found in that area had been culled," he added.

Teams from the Veterinary Department went from house-to-house in the affected area Monday night to collect all the birds and eggs.

Muhyddin said an integrated action between the Veterinary Services Department, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the Health Ministry has been put in place to contain the disease.

"The public should not overreact, and chicken is still safe for consumption. This is only an isolated case affecting the birds, as there is no human death by the deadly strain," he reiterated.

Meanwhile, Singapore has suspended import of poultry and eggs from the state of Selangor, where the capital city is situated. Other states in the Malaysian Peninsula have not been affected by the ban.

This is the second time in three years that that H5N1 strain has been detected in Malaysia. The last reported case was in November 2004, where several fighting roosters smuggled from Thailand to the northern state of Kelantan had died of the disease. In January 2005, Malaysia declared the country free of the virus.

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