As many as 320,000 ducks in Central Java, West Java and East Java have died of suspected bird flu, according to data collected by the Local Poultry Farmers Association (Himpuli).
These cases have occurred since mid-November and occurred on small to large scale duck farms.
The Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health in a circular letter explained that the duck deaths were caused by HPAI disease, subtype H5N1 with a clade 2.3, sub-clade 2.3.2. The clade 2.3 is a new clade which was first discovered in Indonesia.
Possible causes of the emergence of a new clade are still being investigated. However, the Directorate General guesses that there has been a genetic drift and/or genetic shift from previous viruses. Secondly, there is the introduction of a new virus from abroad based on haemaglutinin similarity of the phylogenic tree, that is likely due to inclusion of duck or duck products from overseas illegally or because of the migration of wild birds.
To prevent and control the spread of the virus, the Directorate General will advise duck farmers and communities. If sick or dead ducks are found again, rapid test will be conducted and if the result is positive, then focal culling will be conducted. Traffic restrictions of duck and duck products from the affected farm will also come into effect.