Farmer may have had bird flu

Farmer may have had bird flu
Friday March 17, 2006

GOPENG: Poultry farmer Abdul Razak Abu Othman, whose free-range chickens died from the H5N1 virus, is believed to have suffered from symptoms related to the bird flu.

Abdul Razak said a doctor he consulted for cough and body itch last week had diagnosed him as having contracted a type of bird flu virus.

The 34-year-old farmer, from Kampung Changkat Tualang in Kota Baru near here, said he was also suffering loss of appetite.

During the time I was ill, I realised that a few of my chickens were dying each day, he said yesterday when officers from the state Veterinary Services Department began culling the chickens at his farm.

I was alarmed when 12 of my chickens died on Monday and I contacted the police.

Abdul Razak, who lives behind his farm, said the veterinary officers also conducted tests the next day after the police informed the department about the dead birds.

On Wednesday, the department confirmed that my chickens had died of the H5N1 virus, he said.

Abdul Razak said about 80 villagers living in the area also reared poultry for a living.

Their birds have also been dying since last week, he added.