East Kalimantan Tightens Checks on Bird Flu Fears
Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Authorities in East Kalimantan have tightened their checks on poultry from Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi, following recent reports of bird flu outbreaks in those regions.
Slamet Soebagyo, head of disease control at the Samarinda Health Office, said on Sunday that animal quarantine officials at ports and airports throughout the province would work around the clock to screen incoming poultry for symptoms of the disease.
“We’re being very strict about the checks because we don’t want the bird flu virus getting in and spreading,” he said.
“Each and every chicken or duck that comes in will be checked. If it shows symptoms similar to those of bird flu, it will be culled on the spot.”
In addition to tightening screening of incoming poultry shipments, health officials are also visiting local poultry farms to spray disinfectant in and around the animal pens and cages. Slamet said his office was also urging poultry farmers to routinely clean out their facilities.
Indonesia has been hit hard by bird flu, accounting for 159 human fatalities out of 359 worldwide cases reported, according to the World Health Organization.
That figure does not take into account the death of a boy in Bogor in early December who was confirmed by the Health Ministry to have died from bird flu. His death brought the country’s total this year to 10.
The country is now reeling from an outbreak of a new strain of the virus, which has already killed thousands of poultry that were immune to the older strain.