Published on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Deaths spark bird flu fears in Bali


Health authorities in Bali are concerned that the bird flu virus which recently killed two children has spread across the island,

Local media also report that residents in neighboring Lombok are seeing chicken deaths. 

Putu Sumantra, head of the Bali Livestock Agency, told the Jakarta Globe the pattern of the spread of the disease was similar, although smaller in scale, to 2007, when a bird flu pandemic swept the island. 

“Back then, around 4,000 birds died, but this time the figure is much smaller,” Sumantra said.

“Most of the cases occurred in poultry raised on small farms,” Sumantra added. “Those on larger commercial farms tend to be vaccinated on a regular basis so aren’t as vulnerable.” 

Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana, a member of the provincial legislature, said he was concerned that the spread of the disease would hurt the island’s tourism industry.

He said it came at a critical time, with US President Barack Obama among world leaders scheduled to arrive in Bali for the East Asia Summit.



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