Hundreds of chickens belonging to villagers in the Tembuku and Susut areas of Bangli died of suspect bird flu over the weekend, raising fears of more cases amongst humans.
“The Bangli Animal Husbandry Department is carrying out eradication efforts in the region,” its chief, AA Ngurah Shamba, said.
The first bird deaths were reported last Friday and they continued on Saturday, Shamba said, adding that officials were focussing particularly on Bambang Village in Tembuku where hundreds of birds died suddenly on Friday. He said it was strongly suspected that the birds had died of flu, but that forensic tests were still underway.
Shamba said the close proximity of the affected areas to the Klungkung border was significant, as there have been many recent reports of bird flu amongst poultry in Klungkung.
“In Bali there are four districts affected by bird flu, including one in Klungkung close to the Bangli border,” he said.
Putu Yasa, a farmer from Susut, said his birds had died suddenly.
“I gave them food in the afternoon, and then when I came to check them again the next morning they were all dead,” he said.
Shamba said that with the current occurrence among domestic birds it was important for people to be vigilant for symptoms of the disease amongst humans.
Residents were prohibited from contact with birds suspected of suffering from the disease, and anyone in the infected areas suffering from flu-like symptoms should report immediately to their nearest hospital or medical centre, he said.
Bird flu can occasionally be passed to humans through close contact with live poultry.