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One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Suspected Bird Flu Victim Hospitalized in Bali. Denpasar Officials Tighten Controls on Movement of Commercial Poultry Populations.

(4/5/2011) Concerns over a possible outbreak of H1N1 Avian Flu in Bali escalated with the hospitalization of a 45 year-old Tabanan woman.

Beritabali.com says the chief of the Disease Control and Environmental Health Service in Bali, Dr. Ketut Subrata, said the women was admitted to an isolation ward at the Tabanan Public Hospital after experiencing respiratory difficulties and other symptoms consistent with bird flu. In addition, the woman has a history of close contact with a poultry population in which a number of birds have suddenly died.

Doctors are waiting for the results of laboratory tests to confirm whether or not the woman has been infected with H1N1.

Data from the Bali Health Service attribute 2 deaths in 2007 to the Avian Flu H1N1 virus.

Denpasar Tightens Controls on Poultry Movement

Following the confirmation of the re-emergence of the Bird Flu (H1N1) virus among poultry populations in three regions of Bali Denpasar, Badung and Tabanan, the Animal Husbandry Department of Denpasar has tightened its surveillance and supervision on the movement of poultry entering the city limits of Bali's capital.

According to Kompas.com, poultry trucks are being stopped and inspected at the city's limits. The chief of the public health and veterinarian division of the Animal Husbandry Department for Denpasar, I Gusti Astriwati, confirmed that since January his office has been spraying poultry stocks with disinfectants on Jalan Ida Bagus Mandra, Pentair, Cokroaminoto, Gunung Agung and all points of entrance into the city.

Not only are officials checking poultry carried on the trucks, but drivers are also being asked to produce certificates of good health and certify the chickens on board their trucks are in good health. Drivers unable to comply have the road certificate (KIR) for their truck confiscated in order to permit health officials to meet with owners and provide practical advice on good public health practice.

Checks carried out on the highways have not discovered any unhealthy poultry or dead birds. Following the inspection, officials spray the birds and the trucks with disincentives.

The current heightened level of supervision over the movement of poultry stocks dates form March 10th when authorities confirmed the death of 8 chickens from Bird Flu in Banjar Biyu, Peguyan.

Prior to the March 10th incident, Bali's last recorded outbreak of H1N1 took place in 2009.