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Fear Of Spread Of Bird Flu Leads To Widespread Culling Of Ducks

Following detection of bird flu in ducks on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, health officials have culled more than hundred ducks//. The birds had been smuggled to Bali from the adjacent Java Island, reported Anak Agung Gde Putra, senior government veterinarian.

More than 24 bird flu related deaths have been reported in Indonesia, the World’s most populous nation. In response to the above situation, import of poultry and livestock from Indonesia had been stopped by Bali, as a precautionary measure to contain spread of the much-dreaded bird flu virus.

Nearly 16 of the 400 ducks seized were found to harbour the H5N1 virus. The owner of the house confessed that the birds had been shipped in from Java Island. The birds were culled by the health officials dressed in protective suits. The birds were then burnt in a yard behind. Disinfectant was then sprayed on the burnt remains to prevent any infection.

‘We don't want to take any risks because ducks infected with bird flu would spread the disease to other birds,’ Putra said. Rapid testing kits manufactured in South Korea were used for testing the presence of bird flu infection, said Ketut Suarda, a government veterinarian. Blood samples drawn from the infected tests would be further tested to confirm the presence of bird flu infection.

No case of human bird flu has been reported so far on Bali despite the widespread prevalence of the bird flu virus in poultry. Vaccination and culling of birds have been carried out in high-risk areas. Mass slaughtering of birds, as recommended by the United Nations cannot be carried out owing to the limited financial resources in the region.

Although no case of human-human bird flu transmission has been reported so far, experts fear that the bird flu virus would mutate into a more potent form, triggering bird flu pandemic.


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