H5N1 spreads- Hundreds of chickens drop dead in Indonesia

February 27, 2011 SUMATRA, INDONESIA – Avian flu, which has killed 141 people in Indonesia since 2005, has returned. Several regions have recently reported outbreaks. Though no one has yet died after the virus’ reappearance, bird flu must not be taken lightly. Our experience in the past, especially during the global bird flu outbreak in 2006, shows that the H5N1 virus can spread quickly due to negligence, if not unpreparedness. Indications of the outbreaks were easily detected as they followed the national and global alert textbook. Hundreds of chicken suddenly died  in Deli Serdang regency in North Sumatra, Surakarta, Central Java and Garut regency, West Java. Five people also displayed flu symptoms soon after hundreds of poultry in their neighborhoods died. This time the local governments have responded quickly, taking all necessary preliminary measures, including intensifying supervision, distributing brochures on how to deal with the virus and preparing medicine in case the virus infects humans. A mass culling of infected fowl and the restriction of poultry distribution were ordered in Deli Serdang. Disinfectant was sprayed in areas where chickens were suspected to have died from the virus. Local authorities have learned from their previous mistakes, when a combination of a lack of awareness and misinformation turned the virus into a ruthless harbinger of death. The fact that the virus has reappeared and struck back almost unnoticed should serve as a reminder that we have not done enough to stop the disease from recurring. The World Health Organization has underlined that the fight against avian influenza should involve agricultural officials and farmers as the virus infects animals in the first place. The world body said that a good response to H5N1 would require active surveillance of animals to rapidly detect cases, solid diagnosis, fair compensation for farmers who have to cull birds and public information and education programs. In many cases, bird flu struck after poultry farmers failed to change their business-as-usual mindset, despite repeated epidemics. The farmers remained unaware of hygiene and maintained their traditional backyard chicken pens until their livestock grew sick and died. –The Jakarta Post
1000 ducks found dead in S. KoreaAbout 1,000 ducks found dead earlier this week at a farm in southern South Korea were confirmed Saturday to have been infected with a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza, raising concern that the lethal virus is spreading in the country, local media reported on Sunday. The H5A1 virus was found on the duck farm in Damyang county of South Jeolla Province, about 350 kilometers south of Seoul, quarantine officials said. It was the 46th confirmed bird flu outbreak in the country since the first case was reported on Dec. 29. In the past two months, a record 5.5 million birds have been culled. Quarantine officials at the province said they have been slaughtering about 13,000 ducks at poultry farms in Damyang to try to contain the spread of the virus. “We are reinforcing quarantine measures to prevent the avian influenza from spreading here,” said an official at the South Jeolla provincial government. The spreading bird disease is a double whammy for South Korea which has been battling what many officials say is the worst-ever outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.  –WAM
Countries where the H5N1 virus has spread now includes: Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, South Korea, and now Indonesia. See our report on is a Global Pandemic brewing?
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Environmental Threat, Food chain unraveling, Pestilence Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

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