Bird flu checks on China tourists arriving in Sabah
More than 1,000 tourists from China have been screened for the new bird flu strain, H7N9 at the entry points in Sabah as well as livestock brought from outside. Health Deputy Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said surveillance and monitoring systems have been set up at the main entry points into Sabah through air and sea as precautionary measures against the new strain of bird flu.
“The Sabah Health Department is fully aware of the outbreak of the new bird flu strain in China and we have taken measures to address this by conducting surveillance, monitoring and screening China tourists who come to Sabah. “These tourists who come on direct flights and those who come here through transit flights at our airports here will be checked and screened for the virus.
“All results showed negative. No such cases of the virus infecting humans or livestock is detected in Sabah,” she said, during a media gathering, Tuesday. According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report on Monday, 21 cases of people infected by the virus in China have been recorded and six of them have died.
Although Sabah does not import livestock from China, Rosnah said all livestock, including poultry, would be monitored and screened in the State as a precautionary measure. “Public should not worry or panic over this situation as the Health Department here is working together with the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry (Dovsai) to monitor and check on all livestock animals that are brought into the State.
“The aim of monitoring and taking samples of these livestock including suspected ones is to detect the presence of the virus and take immediate action so that it will not become a health issue in Sabah,” she said. On Monday, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention head Nancy Cox said although H7N9 is more easily transmittable from birds to human than the original bird flu strain H1N1, she expects to see limited human-to-human transmission.
Source: Daily Express – http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=84885