Human bird flu suspects in Malaysia quarantined

Health officials in Malaysia say two people have been quarantined in Malaysian hospitals with suspected bird flu and health officials are also looking into the suspected case in an elderly patient in the state of Selangor.

The health minister Dr. Chua Soi Lek has said a 31-year-old man and a 16-year-old teenager from Terengganu are receiving treatment after displaying symptoms of the bird flu virus, but eleven others who were also quarantined had tested negative.

The teenager had reportedly been exposed to chickens and ducks which died in Seberang Takir, in Kuala Terengganu.

Nine of the eleven have now been allowed to return home and two others had been moved to normal wards.

To date Malaysia has had no human cases of bird flu but authorities apparently detected the H5N1 bird flu virus in chickens in a village in Selangor last week, the first time avian influenza had been found in the country since March last year.

Health authorities have culled chickens within a 1-km radius of the outbreak as a protective measure and Dr. Lek says samples from both patients are being tested for any trace of the H5N1 virus.

The health minister also says several other patients who reported having virus-like symptoms were released recently released from quarantine included 30 residents of Kampung Paya Jaras Hilir, a village suspected of harboring a bird flu virus outbreak.

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