Palu, C Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Some 3,254 chickens were culled in 2011 in Central Sulawesi after they proved to have been infected with Avian Influenza (AI), a local animal husbandry official said.

"Most or 2,099 of the chickens were found in Parigi Moutong District," Greeje Kuhu, head of the animal health section of the Central Sulawesi animal husbandry office, said here Tuesday.

There were 702 infected chickens in Palu, 269 in Sigi District, 107 in Poso, and 77 in Banggai.

The avian influenza or bird flu virus was detected in Palu in 2006 but no human cases had been reported so far. In 2010, only 99 chickens had been infected by the virus but the number drastically jumped to 3,254 last year.

So far in January 2012, there had been no report of avian influenza cases in Central Sulawesi but Greeje urged all parties to be on alert because the province was prone to avian influenza.

Meanwhile, a resident in Sunter, North Jakarta, PD (23), was confirmed to have died of bird flu last week.

"PD`s death brings the total AI death toll in Indonesia since 2005 to 151 out of 183 cases," the director general of disease control and environmental health, Tjandra Yoga Aditama, said in Jakarta, on January 10, 2012.

He said the health ministry had recorded 11 AI fatalities in 2011 and PD`s death was the first in 2012.

Tjandra Yoga said, under a clause in the International Health Regulation (IHR), PD"s death had been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) for further study.

Deputy Health Minister Ali Gufron Mukti said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, last week that the government was handling and anticipating the incidence of bird flu in North Jakarta and several other areas in Indonesia.

"We are more professionally handling the alleged incidence of bird flu for we are definitely anticipating its possible spread to other areas and even to other humans," Ali Gufron said. (*)

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
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