NECF Malaysia "For Your Intercession" No. 19 – August 21, 2004 www.necf.org.my.
The Return of Bird Flu to Asia!!!
A BRIEF REPORT:
Some 300 chickens and pet birds from a village in Tumpat were burnt in an incinerator. The authorities confirmed the finding of traces of the deadly strain of avian flu virus in the carcasses of two infected fighting cocks that were smuggled in from Thailand, reported New Straits Times on August 19th. The village was about 100km from Narathiwat province in Southern Thailand, where several bird flu cases were discovered. We praise God for the Malaysian authorities who, without taking chances, sped on to intensify investigation and conducting tests at all poultry farms, commercial ventures and bird parks. Veterinary Services Department had also tightened the border check to make sure no poultry or birds were smuggled in/out. Government agencies were instructed by the Prime Minister to be transparent in handling the issue and to keep the public informed.
In July, international health experts had expressed their concerns over the return of avian influenza in Asia with the new outbreak in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Even though the virus has not developed its capability of passing easily between humans, it was deadly enough to have killed 23 people early this year. The recent case in Malaysia indicates that public support and partnership with the authorities is equally important. Without it, prevention will not be effective regardless the effort and aggressive measures taken by the authorities against the virus.
Let us not lose heart but be watchful and continue to pray.
SUGGESTED PRAYER POINTS:
- Pray for the public to be vigilant in seeking medical attention if they show symptoms of influenza, and cooperate with the authorities in preventive measures.
- Pray for the Health Ministry and Veterinary Services Department (VSD) as they tighten the surveillance in Kelantan and other states, and as they equip the hospitals, laboratories and clinics.
- Pray for wisdom and expertise for the health officials and scientists, e.g. World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health
- Pray for co-operation and transparency for all national and international agencies in handling the issue.
- Continue to pray against unscrupulous practices & greed, e.g. smuggling.
- Pray for poultry farmers whose income will be gravely affected, and the industry itself.