Similarity seen between present cases and those in 2004 which also occurred in Kelantan when roosters infected with H5N1 were involved in cockfighting at the border areas.
KOTA BHARU: The Veterinary Services Department believes the bird flu (H5N1) epidemic detected in the state could have started from cockfighting activities involving roosters from neighbouring countries.
The department’s director-general Dr Kamaruddin Md Isa urged the public to stop holding such contests, including at border areas, to prevent the H5N1 virus from spreading elsewhere.
“We see a similarity between these cases and those in 2004 which also occurred in Kelantan where roosters infected with H5N1 were involved in cockfighting at the border areas,” he told reporters here today.
Kamaruddin said further investigations were being conducted to identify the real source of the epidemic, including looking at similarities with fowl diseases in Asean countries.
“So far, no new location has been found to have been infected and the epidemic has not spread to other states,” he said.
He added that to date, 15,957 fowls like the free-range chicken, ducks, serama chicken, geese, quails and the ketitir bird have been culled in Kota Bharu and Pasir Mas, which are within a 10km radius of Kampung Pulau Tebu, Tunjong here, where the epidemic was identified, to prevent the H5N1 virus from spreading.
The H5N1, which affects fowls, was detected on March 6 after a few free-ranging chickens owned by the residents died.
Meanwhile, in KUANTAN, no H5N1 has been detected. However, state Health, Human Resources and Special Functions Committee chairman Norol Azali Sulaiman said the government would take necessary steps to be alert and monitor the spread of the virus.
“We have not received any reports on the H5N1 disease infecting animals or people,” he said.