More dead birds in Malaysia raises bird flu alarm

Concern has been raised in Malaysia after a second flock of pigeons was found dead in the country's northwest.

According to reports health officials are worried following the deaths of more than 11 wild pigeons in Sungai Petani, and they are carrying out tests for bird flu.

The results should be known later on Tuesday.

The discovery of the dead birds in the far-northwest state of Kedah, comes after the mysterious deaths of dozens of pigeons at the weekend in a rural town in the neighbouring state of Perak.

In that case bird flu has been ruled out.

According to reports Hawari Hussein, director-general of veterinary services,says that all the states are prepared for an outbreak and the moment they detect a case, they will activate preparations to deal with it.

Malaysia's last reported case of the potentially deadly H5N1 avian flu virus in an animal was in northern Kelantan state on Nov. 22 last year, and to date no human cases have been reported.

Early in the year, Malaysia declared itself free of bird flu.

The virus is already endemic in poultry in much of Asia and has killed 63 people in four Asian countries, but it has not as yet, shown it can spread easily from person to person.

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