Avian flu has resurfaced in parts of Indonesia, prompting officials to launch a massive campaign to vaccinate chickens, the government announced Wednesday.
Dr. Tri Satya Putri Naipospos, director of animal health for the Ministry of Agriculture, said the government planned to distribute as many as 300 million doses of vaccine to poultry farms after reports that a few thousand chickens had died in the eastern part of Java island in July.
"We can say there have been new cases in several districts in East Java," Naipospos said. "By vaccinating the chickens, we can reduce the mortality rates and reduce the spread of the virus."
Indonesia joins Vietnam, China and Thailand, which have also seen a resurgence of bird flu in the past month.
Earlier this year, the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu swept through Asia, ravaging the poultry industry and killing 24 people in Thailand and Vietnam. More than 100 million chickens and ducks across the region were slaughtered, including upwards of 10 million in Indonesia.
During the outbreak in February, Jakarta came under heavy criticism for failing to alert the public of the threat, and for being slow to respond with a mass slaughter and other measures aimed at containing it.
In Canada, some 17 million birds were slaughtered after the disease hit the B.C. Fraser Valley poultry industry in February.