H5N1 In Bali Suspected
Jakarta Post
Indonesia was investigating the deaths of dozens of backyard chickens on the resort island of Bali Wednesday [26 Oct 2005] amid fears they may have had bird flu, officials and residents said.
"It's too early to say if this is bird flu," said Ida Bagus Raka, the chief of Bali provincial animal husbandry agency, after visiting Padang Sambian, a village on the outskirts of the provincial capital of Denpasar.
Though villagers say more than 25 previously healthy birds have dropped dead in the last 5 days, Raka said it is possible they had Newcastle Disease, which is not dangerous to humans.
Samples have been sent to a lab for testing, he said. It was not immediately clear when the results would come back.
Residents in Padang Sambian said their backyard chickens suddenly started falling sick last week, turning blue and frothing at the beak before dying.
"We don't know what the cause is, but we're afraid," said Ni Komang Santini, who has lost 8 of her 9 chickens. The same thing happened to several of her neighbors' flocks, she said.
The H5N1 strain of the bird flu has killed or forced the slaughter of millions of birds in Indonesia since 2003, including 600 000 chickens on Bali last year.
It has also jumped to humans killing 4 people in the sprawling archipelago since June, although none of them on the resort island.
Results of the current laboratory tests from Bali are anticipated.
According to Indonesia's official reports to the OIE, the last outbreak of clinical HPAI in avians occurred in Indonesia on 4 May 2005, in the village Ujung Padang, Sumatra Utara (Follow-up report No 9 of 27 Jun 2005; see
Though human cases have been reported later, only serological findings from asymptomatic avians have been reported in the last available follow-up report No 10, dated 2 Aug 2005
In view of the appearance of cases in humans, it is conceivable that cases in avians do occur but remain undetected, underlining the need for enhanced surveillance and reporting. - Mod. AS.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board.
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health



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