Malaysia starts inspection for sick people after bird flu outbreak

Malaysia began culling birds and launched house-to-house inspections Tuesday for sick people in an area where 40 chickens died from the H5N1 bird flu virus in the first reported case of the disease in more than a year.

Health Minister Chua Soi Lek told reporters that his ministry has launched active surveillance in Gombak district in central Malaysia where bird flu was detected last week in four hamlets.

The surveillance would cover a 300-meter (1,000-foot) radius from every chicken pen where the infected birds were found, Chua said, adding that the Veterinary Services Department had begun to cull fowls there.

The affected villages,  Pasir Wardieburn, Taman Danau Kota, Pekan Danau Kota and Kampung Belakang JPJ,  are just outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.

Chua said the Kuala Lumpur Health Department and City Hall would carry out close surveillance and house-to-house inspections to see if any people had fallen sick. No details were available on the number of households or villagers in the affected areas, reports the AP.


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