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More Poultry Affected by Avian Flu Outbreak

Officials Move Swiftly to Cull Infected Poultry Stocks

(3/3/2009) Additional cases of bird flu have now been discovered in the Banyubiru area of Negara in Bali. An initial outbreak in the area caused authorities to exterminate 52 birds owned by 5 local families, new cases discovered on February 20, 2009, have resulted in the destruction of more poultry "numbering in the tens" owned by 3 more Banyubiru families.

Last week when an official delegation led by the District Chief of Negara were inspecting the home of Sutarmen - one of the families whose infected poultry were recently destroyed, a report was received from a near neighbor, I Ketut Darmawan, that large numbers of his poultry were also dying.

The disease control team immediately went to Darmawan's home where they examined the carcasses of two dead chickens. Using rapid-test equipment, the presence of the Avian Flu virus was confirmed prompting the officials to immediately kill, burn and bury 15 more birds kept by the farmer.

Darmawan told beritabali.com: "Since yesterday, one by my chickens began to die. I don't know the reason. I must accept the extermination of my animals for the sake of my health and the health of my family."

Before the fire used to destroy Darmawan's birds had burnt itself out the team received yet another report regarding birds owned by Nyoman Westrem, a man whose house was just 2 buildings to the east of Darmawan's residence. Westrem told the officials that many of his chickens had taken ill and died over the past 4 days causing him to bury the tens of birds in his garden. The officials then went to Westrem's home and shot all the free-ranging poultry on the property.

Officials have placed the village in quarantine, forbidding the import or export of poultry into Banyubiru until further notice.

The latest outbreak follows by one week confirmed cases of the H5N1 virus found in farm poultry in the Abiansemal area.

One young man hospitalized with a suspected case of Bird Flu from Abiansemal has since been released from hospital and confirmed not to be suffering the Avian Flu.