Sunday, July 12

Livestock health being monitored in bird flu watch

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KUCHING: The state Health Department is closely monitoring livestock health in view of the latest influenza A (H7N9) cases in China.

The department will work together with the veterinary services department in that effort, state health director Datu Dr Zulkifli Jantan said.

People are cautioned to be careful in the handling of animals.

“People have to treat dead animals with special care. In addition, they must practise good sanitary and hygienic habits when working with animals, including in the process of food preparation and cooking,” he told thesundaypost yesterday.

The Health Ministry is closely monitoring the situation, as well as liaising closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the latest updates.

According to a statement from the ministry, WHO has assured there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission at this time.

WHO also does not advise special screening at entry points nor does it recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied.

On April 4, the health ministry in China notified WHO of an additional seven cases of human infection with the  H7N9 virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 14, including six deaths.

The Chinese government is actively investigating into the matter and has heightened disease surveillance and retrospective testing of recently reported cases with severe respiratory infection.