No avian influenza case in Malaysia since 2007

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has been free from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) since 2007. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were no cases of Avian Influenza (AI) reported to date since it last hit the country in June, nine years ago. "As a precautionary step, an AI Simulation Exercise is conducted every year by the ministry in collaboration with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS). "From 2011 to 2014, national level simulation exercises have been successfully organised in Johor, Sarawak, Penang and Kelantan," he said in a statement today. Noor Hisham said representatives from Asean countries' health ministries from Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand were invited to become independent observers. "This year, the national level simulation exercise will be held in Kedah, which borders the Thai town of Songkhla, today and tomorrow. "The excercise is done together with the Thailand Health Ministry as a cross-border simulation exercise," he said, adding that the exercise was jointly conducted by the ministry, National Security Council and Immigration Department. A total of 239 participants from Malaysia and 87 from Thailand are participating in the exercise. Noor Hisham said the simulation exercise was designed to assess the ability and the level of preparedness of agencies involved in identifying and treating influenza. "The collaboration between the two countries will further strengthen the preparedness and response to incidents involving HPAI and other cross-border infectious diseases," he said.
Source: NST