PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE TO A HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA (H5N1) OUTBREAK AMONG POULTRY IN KELANTAN, MALAYSIA 2017
Background: Human H5N1 infections are concerning as they are associated with severe disease and death. On 6th March 2017, the Veterinary Department alerted the Health Department regarding the isolation of H5N1 virus in a dead domestic chicken in Kampung Pulau Tebu in Kota Bharu district, Kelantan. The objective of this paper is to describe the key strategies to prevent H5N1 transmission to humans during the outbreak in poultry in Kelantan.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional study used for the epidemiological investigation and public health response in human for the avian influenza outbreak in poultry. Public health response was in compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure for Potential Infectious Diseases. The strategies executed were emergency preparedness and contingency plan, public awareness and risk communication, interagency co-operation and collaboration and stakeholder support and commitment. Data were obtained from District Health Offices and the State Veterinary Department. Data entry and analyses were conducted using Microsoft Excel 2016
Results: There were 6 districts and 36 foci with positive H5N1 results in poultry whereby 55450 poultry were culled and 17531 eggs were destroyed. The population at risk of 13385 individuals were screened and 23 were suspected to have Avian Influenza, 5 with ILI symptoms and 50 with mild URTI symptoms. Laboratory results for 23 samples that were negative for H5N1. A total of 330 healthcare workers and 184 veterinarian staff exposed to infected poultry were monitored for 10 days and were well. Biosecurity measures were undertaken by the state veterinary and health departments.
Conclusion: The public health response was successful in preventing H5N1 transmission from poultry to human.
Keywords: H5N1, avian influenza, HPAI, Kelantan