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Beijing visitors being screened
Published on: Friday, February 14, 2014
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Kota Kinabalu: All direct flights from China are being screened for the Influenza A (H7N9) virus following confirmation of the nation's first case involving a 67-year-old female tourist from Guangdong who arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 4 and proceeded to Sandakan and here.Tour operators have been alerted to advise their clients who are from avian-flu hit nations not to travel, while advising them to send their guests who fall sick in Sabah for treatment immediately.

"We have also been doing screening at our point of entry, in Sabah's case, screening has already been in place in Terminal One and Two of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport," said Health Department Director Christina Rundi.

She said the number of influenza screening clinics have been increased from eight to 12.

She said the department is not taking any chances although no new cases were detected.

The department was also strengthening its public laboratory to detect the H7 virus, saying the present facility available is only in Kuala Lumpur's Institute of Medical Research.

"If there is any increase in cases, we will send our team to investigate the reasons," she said, Thursday.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam confirmed the nation's first case.

The woman went to Sandakan the following day before going to Kota Kinabalu on Feb 6.

She referred to a private medical centre here and was found positive for the H7N9 virus on Feb. 12 after two screenings.

Meanwhile, Rundi said health facilities had also been alerted to step up prevention measures, while coordinating with the Veterinary Department to monitor the situation on the local livestock.

"Since H7N9 is a zoonotic disease (disease in animal, in this case, avian - birds)É the Veterinary Department has been constantly monitoring the avian influenza among livestock.

"As of now they said there are no H7N9 cases detected on local livestock," she said.


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