Monday, May 13, 2013

H7N9: Warning on Indonesia bird flu risk

I Wayan Teguh Wibawan, a researcher at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), said at a seminar on Saturday that Indonesian farmers sometimes kept chickens and ducks in close quarters, a practice also carried out by their Chinese equivalents.

The Jakarta Globe reported that allowing animals to sleep, eat and defecate in the same space is a key factor in the spread of bird flu.

“This tends to facilitate the spread of the H7N9 virus,” the researcher said, calling on farmers to take action to separate farm animals and limit the number kept in any one place, to avoid overcrowding.

“The government should also work to increase farmers’ awareness and tighten monitoring,” he added.

Although the Indonesian government has confirmed some cases of H7N9 infection in poultry, there have been no reports of human infections from the new strain in the country.