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Swine culling only if JE positive

 | July 3, 2014

Blood samples have been collected from 19 pig farms in Penang to be tested for Japanese Encephalitis

Dr. Afif BahardinGEORGE TOWN: Swine culling will take place only if tests on porcine blood samples proved positive for Japanese Encephalitis (JE), said the Penang government here today.

State executive councillor in charge of agricultural, agro-based industry, rural development and health Dr. Afif Bahardin said currently the relevant authorities were more focused on stepping up preventive and precautionary measures to control the spread of JE.

Among steps taken so far is regular fogging to flush out mosquitoes, especially in high risk areas.

“If the test results were positive, culling of pigs will be done.

“But right now, it is more important to kill off mosquitoes as a preventive and precautionary measure,” Dr. Afif said when contacted.

He was responding to calls by several local Umno leaders on relevant authorities to carry out pig-culling in farms in Tasek Gelugor, where a 12-year-old boy was infected with the deadly disease.

Muhammad Ammar Muqrish Zulkiffli from Kampung Selamat, Tasek Gelugor was infected with JE in April.

He is now admitted in a private hospital.

Another JE case of a two-year-old girl from Bagan Jermal was also confirmed by the health authority here today.

She is now being treated at the Penang Hospital.

On Wednesday, state health and veterinary service departments took porcine blood samples to check whether the latest JE outbreak was caused by pig farms in Kampung Selamat.

Some 40 veterinary officers have been assigned to collect 190 blood samples from 19 pig farms located within a 1.5km radius of SK Kampung Selamat, in which Ammar is a Year Six pupil.

The department is now conducting tests on the samples in its laboratories in Bukit Tengah and Ipoh.

The results are expected to be out by this week.


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