Thursday, March 16, 2017

Avian Flu Hits Birds in Malaysia

The Malaysian government raised an alert for H5N1 bird flu in a northeastern state since the virus has spread to more villages. The H5N1 strain was initially reported in the Kelantan state on March 6, and at least 24,000 birds have culled so far. The head of Kelantan's agricultural committee, Che Abdullah Mat Nawi said that free-range chickens in at least 20 villages have been infected. Commercial birds in state farms have not been infected. 

So far there have been no reported cases of virus transmission to humans. People with bird flu-like symptoms have been tested, but all were negative for avian flu. H5N1 is extremely contagious, and when it transmits to humans it has a high mortality rate. Che Abdullah and officials believe the virus was imported, but there is no determined cause of the outbreak yet. Veterinary officials believe the virus may have been brought in from cockfighting roosters from neighboring countries. 

-Anne Sommer

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