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Bird Flu Returns to Bali

10 Cases of H1N1 Confirmed in Denpasar, Bali among Fighting Cocks.

(3/26/2011) New cases of the H1N1 "Bird Flu" virus have reappeared in Bali's capital of Denpasar after an absence of nearly three years.

The presence of the virus was confirmed on March 11, 2011, in Banjar Bem Biu in north Denpasar following the sudden death of poultry in that community. Rapid-tests carried out by the Livestock, Fisheries and the Oceans Department of Denpasar confirmed the presence of the H1N1 virus among fighting stocks used by locals residents in traditional cockfights.

Officials are calling for tighter controls on fighting cocks in that these birds are traded on a personal level escaping the monitoring and surveillance systems in place to supervise the purchase and sale of normal poultry products. Moreover, fighting stocks of cocks are often smuggled into the island in ways beyond the supervisory control of officials.

To date 10 cases of H1N1 have been confirmed in Banjar Ben Biu.

Health officials have commence an education program for the villagers on how to disinfect their surrounding, recognize symptoms, avoid handling dead poultry and the need to contact health officials in the event of more sudden death among their poultry stocks.

Health officials have asked people to be on guard for a possible spread of the H1N1 virus and to report any unusual deaths of poultry to the proper authorities.