Monday, November 28, 2005

New - It?s not a case of bird flu: Man, 61, is free of virus

The man warded recently at the Penang Hospital with symptoms of lung infection does not have the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
Initial tests on the 61-year-old man showed he was free from the virus.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Health Ministry, Datuk Lee Kah Choon, said today: "Hospital authorities have, however, advised him to stay for a few more days so that they can continue to observe his condition.

"All I can say is that he does not have the deadly virus but the health authorities need to conduct more tests to determine what he is suffering from," Lee told reporters during a gotong royong in Jalan Perak.

"There are no bird flu cases in Penang or other parts of the country," he added.

The New Straits Times reported yesterday that the man was warded on Friday, five days after returning from China with his family. They were there on a social visit.

He felt ill soon after his return and began to show flu-like symptoms three days later.

According to the man, he did not have any close encounter with live or dead birds in China and did not visit any poultry farm.

Lee said the ministry had identified 21 hospitals nationwide in anticipation of bird flu in the country.

"The Government is also looking at providing Tamiflu as and when there is a need.

"We have a very comprehensive plan in place to protect everyone, be it patients, our medical staff and the people at large," he said.

He also said the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry as well as the Customs and Immigration departments had an equally important role in the fight against avian flu.

On dengue, Lee reminded the people not to be complacent although the number of cases had dropped significantly in the last two to three weeks.

New Straits Times - Malaysia News Online


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