While no stranger to avian flu, Indonesia's MOH hasn't reported a human infection since early 2015. In recent weeks, however, we have started to see more media reports of outbreaks in poultry.
Not quite three weeks ago, I blogged on Indonesian Media: An Unusual Report Of H5N1 in Pigs on the islands of Bangka Belitung province while Crof picked up a report that H5N1 kills dozens of ducks in North Sulawesi.
We've not seen any official statements on these outbreaks, but the Indonesian government stopped filing routine reports to the OIE 10 years ago when H5N1 was declared endemic in Indonesia.
All of which means we are pretty much reduced to following media reports on outbreaks in poultry and wild birds.
From the Times Indonesia we get a report out of Banjarmasin, suggesting the H5N1 virus has `mutated'. While using the `M' word is always good for headlines, in truth, these avian viruses are always evolving.
Department of Animal Husbandry Banjarmasin Fearing Bird Flu Virus Mutated
Monday, October 31, 2016 15:40
BANJARMASINPOST.CO.ID, Banjarmasin - Until now, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of Banjarmasin not get the lab results on bird flu in Simpang The floating.
As is known, since two weeks ago is no bird flu findings were made seratun more chickens died suddenly. Chicken deaths of bird flu was confirmed through rapid test or rapid tests.
Actually, said Head Ranch Distankan Banjarmasin , Anwar Ziady, laboratory results with rapid testing is no different.
Only, of laboratory tests it can be seen whether the virus has mutated or not. "Is also a new type or not. So, it can be anticipated," he said.
So if ever the vaccination of poultry in Banjarmasin? According to Anwar, Banjarmasin is a zone of poultry quick trip.
That is, the birds in Banjarmasin not dwell long as farm centers or the like. "Sometimes, a week is where the migration of chicken. So it's hard," he said. (*)
Exactly why a `mutated' virus is suspected here isn't quite clear, and the mangled syntax via machine translation doesn't help much. But it isn't without precedent.
In the spring of 2010, after reports of poultry vaccine failures in Vietnam, we learned of the emergence of a new clade (classified as clade 126.96.36.199) of H5N1, which led to this 2011 statement FAO Warns On Bird Flu.
In 2012, this clade arrived in Indonesia (see EID Journal: H5N1 Clade 188.8.131.52 In Indonesia), sparking a large number of poultry outbreaks even in vaccinated birds.
Meanwhile, in Lamongan, 200 miles south across the Java Sea, we get this report (again from The Times Indonesia).
There are two findings Poultry Bird Flu in Lamongan
Monday, October 31, 2016 - 12:27
TIMESINDONESIA, LAMONGAN - Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Health (Disnak and Keswan) Lamongan, East Java confirmed the sudden death of hundreds of ducks in the Village / District Kembangbahu, due to the bird flu virus or Avian Influenza (AI).
"The test results quickly, the result was positive for bird flu in Kembangbahu," said Head of Animal Health DisnaKeswan Praise Hermawan, Monday (31/10/2016).
However, to ensure the gradual death of 700 ducks belonging to Fahmi Sabil Ansori, whether bird flu or not, Puji explain duck carcasses were sent to BB-vet (Center for Veterinary) Wates, Yogyakarta to do in-depth testing and diagnostics related poultry diseases.
"The carcasses tested PCR (polymer chain reaction), so it was taken to the vet BB-Wates, Yogyakarta," he said.
In fact, continued praise, not only of bird flu occurred in the village Kembangbahu alone. "Yesterday almost simultaneously in the poultry market. Its not know comes from where, as many traders poultry," he said.
We are hampered in both of these reports by the lack of laboratory testing, and the reliance upon in-the-field rapid tests. Hopefully we'll get a more definitive report on whether any significant changes in the virus have occurred.