Central Java declared at risk of bird flu
At least 20 hospitals across Central Java have been supported with assistance to deal with possible bird flu patients as the provincial administration has declared that all regencies and municipalities in the region are H5N1 endemic.
“All provinces across Indonesia actually have the potential to be H5N1 endemic, but we have anticipated it so as not to let the virus infect human beings,” Provincial Health Agency head Anung Sugihantono said on Friday.
Anticipation measures, he added, included procurements of necessary facilities and infrastructure, preparation of the human resources and readiness of the agency’s team to deal with the disease.
“The provincial health agency is soon to conduct assessments of the appointed hospitals on their readiness to deal with bird flu patients when such cases occur, at anytime,” Anung said.
The 20 appointed hospitals include the RSUP Dr. Kariadi Semarang, RSUD Margono Soekarjo Purwokerto, RS Dr. Moewardi Solo, RSUD Kudus, RSUD Pati, RSUD Grobogan, RSUD Slawi, RSUD Purworejo, RSUD Boyolali, RSUD Kendal, RSUD Kraton Kabupaten Pekalongan, RSUD Kardinah Tegal, RSUD Banyumas, RSUD Tidar Magelang, RSUD Wonogiri, RSUD Cilacap, RSUD Salatiga and RSUD Jepara.
Provincial Husbandry Agency head Whitono previously declared that all regencies or municipalities in the region were bird flu endemic. The province is home to some 125 million birds, annually.
He said the decision was made based on a recent rapid test conducted by the agency’s bird flu case rapid handling team, which revealed that 32 bird flu cases were found in the province’s 35 regencies or municipalities.
“Caution is necessary, but there is no need to panic,” Whitono said in the provincial capital of Semarang on Thursday.
He said that the husbandry agency had deployed the rapid movement team to deal with the bird flu endemic, including providing vaccines to stop the spread of the bird flu virus in the province.
The team reportedly found deaths of hundreds of chickens in Brebes regency by the end of last month, allegedly because of bird flu infection.
The provincial administration, he added, established the special team to deal with bird flu cases at anytime by conducting rapid tests using the available equipment at community health centers.
The team is also assigned to actively spray disinfectants in poultry centers across the province.
He also suggested breeders clean their poultry sheds more often and provide vaccines for their birds. “During a rainy season such as this, bird flu infections are certainly increasing, very rapidly,” Whitono said.
He offered assurances that vaccine supplies would be more than sufficient for distribution across the Central Java region.