Bird Flu Spreads in Jembrana

NEGARA

Bird flu continues to spread amongst domestic poultry in Bali, with another 19 chickens reported to have died in Jembrana at the weekend.

According to officials from the Jembrana Health Department, the affected birds belonged to Made Susadi Susana from Kekutatan. Their carcasses were burned on Saturday according to protocol for dealing the spread of the disease.

“The poultry that had already died, and those that were still alive were burnt to prevent the spread of the bird flu virus,” said department head Putu Suasta.

Suasta said the department took action after Susana and his father, Made Badra, reported the deaths of 19 of their chickens to officials at the local district office last Friday.

Suasta said that Badra had bought two new cockerels the previous weekend, which had died shortly afterwards. He had at first been unconcerned, but became alarmed when large numbers of his other birds fell ill.

“After the sudden death of large numbers of poultry, Badra realised that there was something unusual about these deaths,” Suasta said, adding that 15 surviving birds had been destroyed and burnt by officials on Saturday. Four chickens belonging to neighbouring villagers had also been destroyed, he said.

“These measures were in accordance with protocol to deal with bird flu. To stop the spread of the virus we’ve also destroyed birds around the incubation centre,” he said, adding that one of the neighbours had complained at the loss of his birds, saying that they were all healthy.

“The officers encouraged him to destroy the chickens voluntarily by reminding him that bird flu can be spread over an area of one kilometre by foraging chickens,” Suasta said.

Suasta said that health officials would monitor 12 local residents, including Badra and Susana for ten days to check for symptoms of the disease, which can spread to humans through close contact with infected poultry.

“We will watch them for ten days, and if within that time there are no symptoms of influenza or high fever then it means that there has been no human infection,” he said.

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