The Negative Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Test Results Of 181 Blood Samples From 20 Pig Farms In Kampung Selamat, Seberang Perai Should Allow The 3 JE Cases In Penang To Be Treated As A Disease And Health Issue (en/cn)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 5.7.2014.

The Negative Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Test Results Of 181 Blood Samples From 20 Pig Farms In Kampung Selamat, Seberang Perai Should Allow The 3 JE Cases In Penang To Be Treated As A Disease And Health Issue Not As A Racial Issue By The BN-Controlled Media Or Be Politicised By BN.

The Penang state government understands the relief felt by public health workers over the results of the Veterinary Services Department yesterday that the 181 blood samples taken from 20 piggeries in the vicinity of Kampung Selamat in Seberang Prai, Penang tested negative for Japanese Encephalitis (JE). The negative JE test results of 181 blood samples from 20 pig farms in Kampung Selamat, Seberang Perai should allow the 3 JE Cases in Penang to be treated as a disease and health issue, not as a racial issue by the BN-controlled media or be politicised by BN.

The Penang state government wishes to strongly condemn the irresponsible BN mainstream mass media for highlighting the JE cases in Penang by racialising it before the test results were announced but not prominently publishing the negative test results for pig farms in Kampung Selamat announced by the Veterinary Department. BN racist politicians from UMNO also politicized it by making irresponsible and baseless statements to fan the issue with racial and religious sentiments.

JE is caused by mosquitoes active around livestock rearing from cows, ducks, chicken, birds, goats and pigs. Of the 3 JE cases in Penang, two were from areas(George Town and Butterworth) where there were no pig farms or livestock rearing whatseover. However, despite finding no traces of the mosquito-borne virus in the livestock, the Veterinary Department should advise all pig, chicken or buffalo farms to tighten their biosecurity measures and ensure cleanliness and proper sanitation in their compounds. This is to prevent their farms from becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The Health and Veterinary department should redouble efforts to investigate the source of the virus, including random tests not just on livestock rearing but also on wild fowls and other animals such as pet birds. The doctors should be allowed to carry out their work by treating the JE cases as a health issue, focusing on treating the disease instead of being distracted by racial or political considerations.

The Health Ministry should also not hide or cover up information but practice full disclosure and transparency by revealing the JE cases in Penang. The Penang state government only knew of the first JE case in George Town(where there is no livestock rearing of any animals) now when it was first reported 2 months ago, before the 2 subsequent cases in Butterworth and Kepala Batas. This information should be revealed to the public immediately in the public interest and accountability.

Whilst focus is on the 3 JE cases in Penang, the public and the Health Ministry should not forget the danger posed by dengue. This year Penang recorded 924 dengue cases, a 175% increase from the 336 cases for the same period last year. The 175% increase in dengue cases for Penang is lower than the national average of a 264% increase to 44,518 cases this year from 12,858 cases for the same period last year.

Similarly the national dengue death toll increased from 27 deaths to 85 deaths this year, whilst dengue deaths in Penang remain the same at 3 this year as compared to last year. Only a cleaner and greener Penang can reduce the escalation of dengue cases. The Penang Health EXCO Dr Afif Bahardin will continue his pro-active measures against both dengue and JE in Penang.

LIM GUAN ENG

槟州首席部长林冠英于2014年7月5日在乔治市光大发表声明:
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经当局在威北平安村的20户养猪场,抽取181个血液样本化验后,发现样本皆对日本脑炎呈阴性反应。国阵控制的媒体理应用疾病及健康角度看待槟州的三宗日本脑炎病例,而非凡是以种族角度切入。国阵亦不应该政治化此课题。
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兽医局在在威北平安村的20户养猪场抽取181个血液样本化验后,发现样本皆对日本脑炎呈阴性反应。这个消息传来后,槟州政府相信公共卫生工作者都会对此结果感到松了一口气。面对这份化验报告,国阵控制的媒体理应用疾病及健康的角度看待槟州的三宗日本脑炎病例,而非凡是以种族角度切入。国阵亦不应该政治化此课题。

槟州政府强烈谴责国阵主流媒体在检验报告未出炉以前,不负责任地种族化整起事件,而在检测结果出来后,亦没有显著刊登兽医局提供的资讯。来自巫统的国阵种族主义政客,透过发表不负责任及没有事实基础的言论,随风起舞以种族及宗教角度炒作课题,一再政治化此事。

日本脑炎是一种经蚊子叮咬传播的疾病,宿主包括牛、鸭、鸡、鸟、羊及猪。而在槟城的三宗病例中,其中两个病患分别来自乔治市及北海,这两地皆并没有养猪场或养殖其他牲畜。即便兽医局目前并未发现血液含有病毒的牲畜,不过当局应该催促所有养猪、鸡或水牛业者,加强生物安保措施,同时确保场地的卫生状况,让蚊虫没有机会滋生。

现阶段卫生及兽医局理当加倍努力,调查病毒来源,包括在养殖业外做随机抽样检测,诸如野生飞禽、宠物鸟等动物。我们必须让医生以健康卫生的角度来进行工作,让他们专心医治病患,而非政治化并伺机炒作种族课题。

此时此刻,卫生部不能隐瞒任何资讯,必须公开所有相关槟城病例的详情。槟州政府迟至北海及甲抛峇底爆出两宗病例后,才知道原来两个月前乔治市已出现第一宗病例(而这地方根本没有养殖任何牲畜)。站在公共利益及负责任的角度上,这些资料都应该及时对外公布。

在关注槟州三宗日本脑炎病例的同时,民众及卫生部也不应该忘记骨痛热症的危险。今年槟州共出现924宗蚊症病例,与去年的336宗同比下增加175%,但仍低于全国的264%。大马去年同期为1万2千858宗,而今年则是4万4千518宗。

国内蚊症的死亡率也从去年的27宗到今年的85宗,而槟城的则和去年一样,维持在3宗。唯有更清洁及绿化的槟城,始能减少蚊症继续肆虐。掌管槟州卫生事务委员会的阿菲夫医生也将全力以赴,严正对抗蚊症及日本脑炎的问题。

林冠英

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