Five villagers from Kampung Paya Jaras Hilir -- four men and a woman -- are now in the Sungai Buloh Hospital for observation after showing flu-like symptoms.
They were admitted yesterday (Thursday June 7 2007).
The youngest is an 11-month-old child and the eldest, a 35 year-old.
Bernama quoted Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek as saying that the patients are in stable condition.
Dr Chua said they were staying within the 300m radius of the area where chickens were tested positive for the A/H5 virus.
"They went to the hospital to get treatment and have been isolated because of the symptoms," he said in a statement today.
Here is the rest of the story:
"Dr Chua said until 6pm yesterday, checks had been conducted on 476 houses and 3,204 residents of Kampung Paya Jaras Hilir and Kampung Kubu Gajah in Sungai Buloh by the Selangor Health Department officials. "So far, there's still no case which meets the definition of the avian influenza infection among humans detected," he added. Dr Chua said a total of 187 officers were involved in various operations to prevent and monitor the disease, including 22 at the Sungai Buloh Hospital isolation ward and 55 from the Veterinary Services Department. He said health education programmes would continue to be conducted in the affected areas and an additional 530 health pamphlets and health alert cards would be distributed to the residents."
I don't want to panic. And I am not panicking. The thing is, we were declared free from bird flu in June last year, and now there are cases in Sungai Buloh. It is an understatement to say that this is bad news.
Lee Ah Fatt, the president of the Federation of Livestock Farmers Association says that the bird flu is confined to "backyard poultry" in Sungai Buloh and is therefore an isolated case.
What does it mean? It always starts as an isolated case.
He also thinks that the "outbreak" was likely to be related to the illegal imports of pet birds or fighting cocks.
I am supposed to be comforted by this "fact"?
Lee also urged the public not to boycott chicken, chicken products and eggs since those commercially produced are not affected by the H5N1 virus.
I'd really like to know how the disease got to Sungai Buloh. Was it brought by the movement of pet birds or fighting cocks in an illegal import syndicate, as claimed by Lee?
Let's hope that authorities are looking at every possibility.
Nothing is confirmed but it smacks of poor enforcement somewhere, some place.
For the record, I am comforted by reports that the relevant authorities are continuing relentlessly their operations to contain the disease in Sungai Buloh.