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#31088 - 26 Jun 06 04:25 Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
By Lucy Williamson

The World Health Organisation has said it believes limited human-to-human transmission of the bird flu virus did occur in an Indonesian family in May.

But it said that the incident did not signal a major change in the spread of the disease.

The WHO made its announcement at the end of a three-day bird flu conference in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

The case of seven family members who died from bird flu has drawn attention to Indonesia's growing problem.

Ending the closed-door conference, the WHO said its investigation suggested the virus had been passed between the family members in Sumatra.

The WHO also found that the virus had mutated in one case, but not in a way that made it more easily transmissable between people.

QUICK GUIDE


Bird flu


Nevertheless, according to both the WHO and Indonesian government, the virus is widespread among poultry in the country and the focus should now be on implementing Indonesia's national strategy to contain bird flu.

To do that, they said, the country would need funding.

Indonesia has asked for $900m (495m) over the next three years to tackle the virus.

Thirty-nine people are now known to have died from the disease in Indonesia.

The virus cannot yet pass easily from one person to another. But experts fear it could mutate and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic, potentially putting millions of human lives at risk.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5110084.stm
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#31089 - 05 Jul 06 05:52 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Indonesian bird flu toll hits 40

Indonesian authorities have confirmed their country's 40th death from bird flu.
The victim, a five-year-old boy, died last month in Tulungagung, East Java. He is thought to have caught the virus from infected chickens.

Indonesia could soon overtake Vietnam as the country with the highest bird flu death toll.

Vietnam has 42 deaths, though nobody has died this year after an aggressive culling and vaccination policy.

In contrast, Indonesia has been criticised for not doing enough to stem the spread of the disease.

More than 130 people have died of bird flu since late 2003. Most of the deaths have been in East Asia, but cases of the virus have also been found in Europe, Africa and South and Central Asia.

Human-to-human cluster

"Results from tests on a five-year-old boy from Tulungagung, East Java, have been confirmed by the WHO-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong," senior Indonesian health ministry official Hariyadi Wibisono told the French news agency AFP.

"Reports suggest that he had been in contact with dead chickens," he said.

Hariyadi Wibisono added that the health of relatives of the boy was being investigated, but said that so far there have been no reports of new cases near where the boy lived.


Indonesia has been criticised for its reluctance to cull fowl in infected areas - a measure that experts say is the best way to stem the spread of the disease.

But the government says it does not have enough money to compensate farmers, and has asked for $900m (495m) over the next three years to tackle the virus.

Indonesia's problems were highlighted in May when the country recorded a large cluster of deaths which the WHO believes were the result of human-to-human transmission.

Experts say this particular incident did not signal a major change in the spread of the disease.

But there is a fear that the bird flu virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic and potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/5144404.stm
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#31090 - 05 Jul 06 23:26 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
flora Offline
Member

Registered: 03 Jul 06
Posts: 25
Loc: jakarta
oh...my god..that's really terrify

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#31091 - 06 Aug 06 18:52 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Indonesians 'cleared of bird flu'
A group of people from the same village who were hospitalised in Indonesia with suspected bird flu have tested negative for the virus, officials say.
Local tests showed samples taken from the patients were negative for the H5N1 virus, a health ministry official said.

The group is from Karo district in Northern Sumatra, where seven members of one family died of the virus in May.

The deaths sparked fears that the virus was mutating to enable human to human transmission, but this was ruled out.

Officials had feared that the Karo group constituted a new cluster of cases.

"The results of the specimens... turned out to be negative, therefore no H5N1 virus was found in the specimens," Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told reporters.

She said the group were suffering from normal flu.

On Wednesday officials said there were seven suspected cases, but have now revised this number to six.


Indonesia has seen more bird flu deaths this year than any other country.

In July, the country recorded its 42nd human bird flu death, the same total as in Vietnam.

Globally, more than 130 people have died of bird flu since late 2003. Most of the deaths have been in East Asia, but the virus has also spread to Europe, Africa and South and Central Asia.

Experts fear that the virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic and potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/5241400.stm
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#31092 - 19 Aug 06 13:57 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
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Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
H5N1 cluster suspected in West Java

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung

A 35-year-old suspected of having bird flu died Thursday night after being hospitalized for two hours at Dr. Slamet Hospital in Garut, West Java, an official said Friday.

Three other people who may have the disease, who come from the same village as the woman who died, were being treated at Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung.

The victim, identified only as E, was the mother of a nine-year-old girl, D, who died last week of what was initially thought to be typhus.

Dr. Slamet Hospital spokesman Yogi Prayogi said the woman arrived in critical condition displaying H5N1 symptoms. The hospital then compared her symptoms with her daughter's medical report.

"We earlier suspected (her daughter) of having typhus due to her high fever but then she died of shock due to acute breathing trouble," which is a bird flu symptom, he told The Jakarta Post by phone Friday.

Since D had been diagnosed with typhus, the hospital had not taken a blood sample from her. Her mother's blood was sent for testing.

The woman came from Cikelet village, where possible bird flu cases have occurred in five hamlets -- Jojok, Rancasalak, Cigandok, Sawah Bera and Tipar -- raising fears of a new cluster of the disease.

The Health Ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) were dispatched Thursday to investigate the remote area, AFP reported.

According to Health Ministry figures, 46 Indonesians have died of bird flu since the first case diagnosed in humans here in June 2005. It is the world's highest number of fatalities.

Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the National Committee for Avian Influenza Control and Pandemic Preparedness, has played down the cluster fears, however, saying there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission. "The cases are not clusters because they are from different hamlets," he told Reuters.

Still, the rising number of possible cases in Cikelet has kept West Java at the top of the list of provinces in the country with bird flu, a status it has had since February of this year.

The head of the West Java health office's environmental health subdivision, Fatimah Remiati, said there have been 20 confirmed human cases in nine of the province's 25 cities and regencies. The nine are Bekasi regency and mayoralty, Sumedang, Bandung, Bogor, Indramayu, Depok, Tasikmalaya and Garut.

Out of the 20, "17 have died and three others survived," Fatimah said in Bandung.

As of Friday, bird flu had killed a nine-year-old girl, identified as A, on Tuesday and sickened a 14-year-old boy, identified as U, who had been taken home by his family. Four other people from the village died with symptoms of bird flu before tests could be taken.

Two other suspected victims, a five-year-old girl identified as I from Jojok hamlet, and an eight-year-old girl identified as S from Sawah Bera, were recovering. They had been treated at Hasan Sadikin hospital in Bandung since Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Yogi said another possible bird flu sufferer, identified as 32-year-old EK from Tipar hamlet, was admitted to a Garut hospital Friday and would be immediately rushed to Hasan Sadikin Hospital.

The mother of the eight-year-old who is recovering said bird flu rumors started to spread in Cikelet after the virus killed the nine-year-old girl Tuesday. She said the villagers never had information on bird flu and never got vaccine for their livestock.

The woman, who is four months pregnant, said four out of her 15 chickens died before her daughter got sick. Instead of disposing of the dead chickens, she cooked them. "I didn't have the heart to throw them away, especially the rooster. Its meat was so delicious," she said.

The head of the West Java husbandry office's animal health subdivision, Nana M. Adnan, said three out of 14 blood samples taken from poultry in three hamlets in Cikelet tested positive for the H5N1 virus. More than 400 fowl were immediately destroyed. "We're stopping poultry transportation from and to Cikelet for a month," Nana said.

He said since the overall population in Cikelet was low, the number of villagers keeping poultry was relatively small. Rancasalak, for instance, has only 25 families. He said most kept their livestock underneath their houses.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20060819.@02&irec=1
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#31093 - 19 Aug 06 17:24 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Piss Salon Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 27 Jun 06
Posts: 4039
Loc: Jakpus
Magpie brother, you are obsessed by bird flu. Why? What do you know?

I must admit when the SARS thing was going on a few years back that it did trigger a deep fear within me; mainly the thought of deaths on a mass scale and me being stuck in Indonesia to slowly choke to death on my own mucus. There will be a real shit storm in Indo if the bird flu takes off. It will spread easily due to the population density, poor indo hygiene habits and the crap medical infrastructure.
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#31094 - 27 Aug 06 14:26 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Quote:
Originally posted by Piss Salon:
Magpie brother, you are obsessed by bird flu. Why? What do you know?

I must admit when the SARS thing was going on a few years back that it did trigger a deep fear within me; mainly the thought of deaths on a mass scale and me being stuck in Indonesia to slowly choke to death on my own mucus. There will be a real shit storm in Indo if the bird flu takes off. It will spread easily due to the population density, poor indo hygiene habits and the crap medical infrastructure.
Not obessed, just posting what news I find about Indonesia. And what do I know? Pretty much the same as you, if the birflu virus does become airborne, the whole world is fucked, within 6 weeks, a massive amount of the population would be wiped out, riots over injections would ensue, Stephen King's "The Stand" would become reality, and the world would have to start all over again. Now that I mention it, this would be an even more effective way to stop war, than I have ever considered.

Plus I eat a lot of eggs and chicken in Bad Dung, because the Sate and Chilli corn from Lembang give me the shits.
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#31095 - 27 Aug 06 14:47 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Bird flu: 'People need educating'

The recent deaths of two Indonesian teenagers from bird flu means that the country now has the world's highest human death toll from the H5N1 virus.

Here, two Indonesian poultry farmers reflect on how the problem should be handled.

Firman Gunadi, a poultry breeder from Java, believes that backyard farming has to stop if bird flu is to be controlled.

Indonesia may be the worst-affected country in the world. But with all respect for human life, and considering that I'm involved in the poultry sector, I'm more interested in how this could happen rather than the numbers.

So what went wrong then?

The latest casualty raised chickens in his backyard. This is not how you should raise chickens but it is how many across the country do. The birds won't have had the proper vaccinations and the environment is likely to have been unclean and damp.

But they just wouldn't have known any better. The young man would have had no information or experience about the symptoms of avian flu in birds.

So he would have had direct contact with the dying birds and exposed himself to the infection like that.

People still do backyard farming as a hobby or for additional income. The government has to address this because the risks of improper backyard farming are great. This may sounds unwise, but if we can avoid such practices, this issue can be dealt with.

All commercial poultry breeders are well-informed of the risks and they do not want to gamble with their investments. I'm fully confident that all the proper sanitation measures are in place.

We spend a lot of money on proper clothing for staff, hand wash and foot baths, disinfectant fluids and proper vaccinations. It's business as usual for the bigger farmers.

And people on the street are not in fear.

But we in the poultry sector are sometimes puzzled as to who is really in command. There seem to be too many decision-makers, too many conflicts of interest when it comes to this issue.

Life goes on nonetheless. We've been through this before.

But one serious risk we must consider is the possibility of human-to-human transmission. When we can deal better with avian flu in the poultry sector, and this includes the problem of backyard farming, then we must consider that challenge.

Ivan Zadir, a poultry breeder in North Sumatra, says the real challenge is educating people about bird flu.

Poultry farmers are not exactly calm but they are pragmatic.

We cannot say we do not care because we do. This is a virus, which you cannot see or touch, but it is causing the death of poultry and of people.

But I also think too much emphasis is placed on bird flu. Many more people die of other causes.

And for us in farming, it's business as usual. There is not much we can do about this situation. It is not in our hands

We adhere to all the bio-security measures, we take care of our health and make sure poultry remain safe. But the real task is in educating people.

Poultry shouldn't be kept in close proximity to humans, for example.

There is real anger and confusion about the way this issue has been handled. In our country people have ideas but don't really implement them. We don't have the infrastructure to deal with such problems.

What we need to see is a cultural shift led from above, people need to be educated about how to co-exist with poultry. But this will take time.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/5255662.stm
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#31096 - 27 Aug 06 14:50 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Outbreak of killer virus 'ignored'

After bird flu in an Indonesian village goes unchecked for weeks, officials are accused of being unable to cope

John Aglionby in Rancasalak
Sunday August 27, 2006
The Observer

If statistics are anything to go by, Umar bin Aup should be dead. Seven weeks ago in his village, Rancasalak on the south-western coast of Java, dozens of hens including some of his family's 14 birds started dying for reasons no one could explain. Then, in early August, after hundreds of fowl had succumbed and at least three people in the area had died in mysterious circumstances, Umar, 16, came down with a fever.

'A day later, I was finding it hard to breathe and then I started vomiting,' he told The Observer as he convalesced at home surrounded by his nine siblings. 'I hadn't been sick for three years so it was a surprise to me.'

It was only after Umar's health had deteriorated for four days that his father, Aup, took him to the nearest health centre, six miles away via bumpy unpaved roads and dirt tracks. After assessing the symptoms, Dr Heri Winarto asked if any birds had been dying in the area.

'On hearing the answer "hundreds", I strongly suspected it was bird flu, particularly since we'd had a similar case from a neighbouring village the day before,' he said. Two days later Umar tested positive for bird flu and was in an isolation room in the nearest hospital, 55 miles away in Garut.

In addition to the three who died and were buried before samples could be taken, two other people from the area tested positive for bird flu. Both have died. At least 10 other people have been treated with suspected bird flu.

That it took at least six weeks as well as the deaths of hundreds of hens and probably three people for the authorities to become aware of a massive bird flu outbreak in their midst demonstrates just how poorly the sprawling archipelago is coping with containing the disease, let alone stamping it out.

'To be honest, we were taken by surprise,' said Memo Hermawan, the deputy head of Garut district, which includes Rancasalak. 'We thought that there would never be an outbreak in such a remote area. Now we know better.'

Public awareness of what to do in an outbreak, particularly in remote areas, is almost non-existent. 'When birds started dying we just threw them in the nearest river or on the rubbish dump,' said Dede Andi, as he watched his 13-year-old son Gilang recover in hospital. 'I still don't really know what bird flu is except that it makes people sick.'

Of 64 confirmed human deaths from bird flu around the world this year, 35 have been in Indonesia. Last month, it overtook Vietnam as the country with the most deaths since the global outbreak began in 2003. But while Vietnam has not recorded a human death for more than 18 months, Indonesia's death toll is rising steadily.

It is likely to continue doing so for many months to come. Surveillance systems integrating animal and human health sectors have been established in only a few dozen of the more than 420 districts around the country.

By the end of the year, with international donor funding, this figure is expected to reach 150.

It is not just the tardiness in developing systems that raises doubts about the Indonesian government's commitment to fighting the disease. The proposed budget for next year is being cut by 15 per cent from this year's 29m. International experts estimate between three and five times that amount is needed if Indonesia is going to gain control of the epidemic by its stated goal of 2008.

'Unfortunately we've got various other issues that need our attention,' said Buyu Krisnamurthi, chief executive of the national bird flu commission. 'Just in the last few months there has been a massive earthquake in Yogyakarta, a tsunami in Pangandaran and there are many other illnesses.

'Bird flu is a global problem that needs global commitment and a global response. If the world is really concerned about bird flu in Indonesia it needs to contribute more.'

Amid the gloom, those involved in combating the disease are clutching at straws of hope. One is that despite 29 of Indonesia's 33 provinces having bird flu outbreaks at epidemic levels in poultry populations and human deaths showing no signs of slowing, the disease has yet to mutate into a form that could cause human-to-human transmission and thus a global pandemic.

But one Jakarta-based international expert warned that considering the level of ignorance in places such as Garut is still so high even after a significant outbreak then the worst-case scenario of a major human pandemic cannot be ruled out.

'We've been lucky here so far and considering everything that's going on - or rather not going on - we're going to have to continue to be lucky for months to come,' he said.
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#31097 - 27 Aug 06 14:53 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Authorities zero in on village hit by H5N1

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung

Health ministry officials Monday distributed Tamiflu to some 2,100 people in Cikelet, a group of villages in Garut district, West Java, where three people have been infected with the avian influenza virus.

The distribution of the drug was part of the campaign to increase public awareness of the deadly H5N1 virus, which has killed 46 people in the country.

Fatimah Resmiati, a spokeswoman from the ministry's West Java environmental health office, said the government had also distributed 200 books about bird flu to elementary school children.

She said the director of the Health Ministry's communicable disease control center, I Nyoman Kandun, had also asked the local administration and authority figures to comply with the 1984 Epidemics Law. The law obliges regional leaders to report on and contain epidemics by mobilizing people, conducting epidemiological research and public campaigns, terminating the source of the disease, handling corpses and conducting required isolation and quarantine operations.

"The law also carries a prison sentence of up to one year and a Rp 1 million (around US$105) fine for those who hamper prevention efforts. This campaign is very important so that people will not force suspected bird flu patients to leave the hospital and so they can detect infected poultry early and report birds' sudden deaths before they infect humans," Fatimah said.

She denied that government was late in its handling of the spread of the virus in the remote area some 130 kilometers south of Garut.

"We instructed people that whenever there is a case of high fever or the sudden death of poultry, it should be declared suspect," Fatimah said.

Three Cikelet residents -- Umar, 14, Ai Siti Aminah, 9, and Euis Lina, 34 -- have been confirmed H5N1 positive. Ai and Euis died last week, while Umar left Garut general hospital against his doctor's advice after his family decided to take him home. His blood sample, however, was later confirmed negative.

A four year-old girl named Risma who was suspected of having bird flu left Dr. Slamet general hospital after her family decided to treat her at home as her condition appeared to be improving.

Laboratory test results for the child are yet to come back.

Three other people from the area also died exhibiting bird flu symptoms but were buried before they could be tested.

Around 16 other people from Cikelet have since been tested for the virus, but Runizar Roesin from the bird flu information center told AFP on Monday that their initial results were negative. The tests, however, will be repeated, he said.

Kandun said authorities had yet to gather enough scientific evidence to prove a cluster case in the area.

"We cannot yet classify it as a cluster because the distance between one patient and the others was too far for them to have had contact," Kandun told AFP.

Experts from the World Health Organization and Indonesia have been investigating the cases in the remote area since last Thursday.

Umar, who was infected with H5N1 but survived had contact with his cousin, one of the three who died without being tested, but both were also in contact with diseased chickens. The WHO has already said that it was "highly improbable" that human-to-human transmission had occurred in their case.

Local authorities have culled around 1,000 sick backyard chickens in Cikelet since last week, said local chief administrator Jujun Juhana.

"The culling will go on for the next three days," he said, adding that healthy-looking birds were being spared.

University of Indonesia pulmonologist Tjandra Yoga Aditama said that a cluster case did not necessarily mean that human-to-human transmission had occurred, although it was still possible.

"It could be that people in one cluster have been in contact with the same sick birds," he said.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailweekly.asp?fileid=20060822.@01
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#31098 - 27 Aug 06 16:03 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quote:
Originally posted by Magpie:
Outbreak of killer virus 'ignored'


It is not just the tardiness in developing systems that raises doubts about the Indonesian government's commitment to fighting the disease. The proposed budget for next year is being cut by 15 per cent from this year's 29m. International experts estimate between three and five times that amount is needed if Indonesia is going to gain control of the epidemic by its stated goal of 2008.

'Unfortunately we've got various other issues that need our attention,' said Buyu Krisnamurthi, chief executive of the national bird flu commission. 'Just in the last few months there has been a massive earthquake in Yogyakarta, a tsunami in Pangandaran and there are many other illnesses.

'Bird flu is a global problem that needs global commitment and a global response. If the world is really concerned about bird flu in Indonesia it needs to contribute more.'

Great, Indonesian bureaucrats are trying to turn 'lemons into lemonade', or more specifically, 'global chicken fear into a big fat cash cow' (more on this later in GSR&B)! They are sacrificing the lives of a few dozen of the "little people" and trying to extort the concerned rich countries to throw billions of dollars at them.... OR ELSE! PRICELESS, typical Jawa mentality, just like the filthy extortionists who board public buses looking like trouble incarnate, and if you want the trouble to go away you best pay up.

And finally Magpie, bird flu, like any flu, will never be "airborne". All types of influenza are passed by an exchange of mucus or blood, neither of which have the requisite capabilities for independent flight.
But like a big looping cross from Damien Duff, they can temporarily fly -- e.g. sneezing in another person's face, or chicken blood splattering through the air in one of those lively voodoo rituals.
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#31099 - 17 Sep 06 20:06 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
You must have more qualifications that the specialist I seen on the documentary about birdflu, because he was using the term airborne, I think that was what he was referring to was the ability to pass from person to person.

Right on captain!
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#31100 - 17 Sep 06 23:28 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Dilli Offline
Pujangga Besar

Registered: 26 Feb 06
Posts: 8044
Loc: Nearest Bar
Welcome Back Black and White striped one. They have been a bunch of pricks in your absence!
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#31101 - 18 Sep 06 11:51 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
And the Indonesian Bureaucrats have got their wish -- sick birds are indeed becoming a cash cow -- the World Bank just announced they were giving the Indonesian govt a US$15 million grant.

Here's the lead to the story:

The World Bank has announced a US$15 million grant to Indonesia to help it fight against bird flu.

Indonesia has so far suffered 65 human cases, of which 49 were fatal - the world's highest death toll.

Jakarta says it needs US$250 million to fight the virus.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/230895/1/.html
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#31102 - 18 Sep 06 12:21 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
riccardo Offline
Pujangga

Registered: 12 Oct 05
Posts: 2195
Loc: Jakarta
Quote:
Originally posted by Magpie:
You must have more qualifications
That's not very likely, at least on the matter of bird flu. My only qualifications on this matter come from what I've seen on www.who.org or www.cdc.gov.

Indeed, when/if the virus becomes contagious in people's mucus, human-to-human spread will occur very easily, but the virus bits won't be flying around like mozzies. People will have to have contact with coughing or sneezing people or something as simple as shaking someone's hand who just rubbed his eyes...
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#31103 - 20 Sep 06 19:51 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
flora Offline
Member

Registered: 03 Jul 06
Posts: 25
Loc: jakarta
A new free 225 page document "Influenza Report 2006" available online at http://www.influenzareport.com is a must read reference. It has a lot of technical information, but written in a easy to read style that most will find very informative. On the likelihood of pandemic soon see excerpt at http://www.avianflutalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12231

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#31104 - 24 Sep 06 20:29 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
Magpie Offline
Member**

Registered: 29 Mar 06
Posts: 1306
Loc: The Toon
Indonesia bird flu toll hits 50

An 11-year-old boy has become Indonesia's 50th victim of birth flu, health officials say.
The child died at hospital in Tulungagung, East Java, on Monday, after developing a fever and cough and suffering breathing difficulties.

Tests by two laboratories confirmed he had the disease, officials said.

Indonesia has the world's highest human death toll from the H5N1 virus, and has registered more bird flu deaths this year than any other nation.

Runizar Ruesin, of the health ministry's bird flu information centre, said the boy had "contact with dead chickens".

"Chickens have died in his house," he told Reuters news agency.

The disease is endemic in poultry across most of the country, and transmission from poultry is the main cause of human bird flu.

There are fears the virus could mutate to a form which could be easily passed from human to human, triggering a pandemic and potentially putting millions of lives at risk.

Bird flu has claimed the lives of more than 140 people worldwide since late 2003. Most of the deaths have been in East Asia, but the virus has also spread to Europe, Africa and South and Central Asia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/5370768.stm
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#31105 - 24 Sep 06 20:37 Re: Family vector for Sumatra bird flu
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Indonesia pushes bird flu education

By Lucy Williamson
BBC News, Jakarta

Laughter bursts abruptly from the veranda of Punjang's house.
Shaded from the afternoon sun by a thick tree, Punjang sits on the floor, moving beans around a large piece of paper.

His wife watches, bemused, as two of Indonesia's new bird flu trainers explain the rules of the game.

"These are your chickens," says Wiwin, pointing towards a pile of red beans. "And these are chickens that are sick."

Punjang is trying to play along, but he is finding it funny. Wiwin moves some beans across the paper. Punjang shakes with laughter again.

Not that Punjang has much to laugh about.

The elderly chicken scratching sedately around the edge of his veranda is the only remaining sign of his livelihood.

Six month ago, he had hundreds of birds, he says, but within the space of a day or two, they all suddenly died. He did not know much about bird flu then.

The same is true of almost all Indonesia's small-scale farmers. Many keep just a handful of birds to supplement the family income.

There are around 30 million such households, tucked deep into Indonesia's vast territory. It is these so-called "backyard farmers" that have presented the government here with a challenge.

New tactic

Since bird flu first appeared in Indonesia three years ago, it has spread to 29 out of the country's 33 provinces, leading to the deaths of millions of birds, as well as at least 46 humans.

In villages like Punjang's where farming is usually free-range, and where chickens mix freely with those from neighbouring houses, viruses like H5N1 spread quickly.

But with outbreaks often occurring simultaneously in villages thousands of kilometres away, getting to the affected areas fast enough to contain the disease is a problem.

And in Indonesia's heavily decentralised system, policies made in Jakarta are often held up or in practice even blocked at the local level.

So the government is trying a new tactic.

Backed by international organisations, it is putting in place specialist teams of vets at the provincial and the district level, to provide rapid response and surveillance at a grassroots level.

Elly Sudiana coordinates the programme from the Ministry of Agriculture in Jakarta.

She says the new teams have given the government a direct command line to the village level and that as a result, dealing with and reporting outbreaks has been much faster.


But for the scheme to work, the teams will need to prevent future outbreaks too. And that is where the beans come in.

In rural areas, there is little information about how bird flu spreads. So the teams go door-to-door visiting every farmer, teaching them how to protect their chickens and themselves.

Back in Cijeler village in West Java, Wiwin runs through the basic rules with Punjang: put your chickens in a cage; do not keep them too close to the house; disinfect the area regularly; and burn any droppings.

His lone chicken continues to pluck at the ground in front of his house.

Punjang is saving up the money to replace his lost stock. He says he wishes he had known before to keep them caged.

Funding shortage

There is a desperate need for greater public awareness in Indonesia - especially in rural areas.

The government has launched a campaign on radio and television to try and get its message across. It has also increased the amount of compensation it will pay to farmers who cull sick birds and stream-lined the way that money can be paid.


But fighting bird flu will take much more money than is currently available. Teams like Wiwin's are expensive to run; they are currently operating in just nine of Indonesia's 29 affected provinces.

And government plans to vaccinate bird stocks have been dented by financial constraints too.

The Agriculture Ministry has bought 60 million doses of the vaccine, but there are 300 million chickens in Indonesia, and it is not clear how the shortfall will be made-up.

International donors have pledged around $50m (26.8m) next year to help Indonesia fight bird flu. The government says it needs more than $350m to carry out its National Plan.

But it has also cut its own contribution, something that international organisations say has made it harder to generate donations.

According to John Weaver, a senior technical advisor with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation in Jakarta, part of the problem is that bird flu is competing with other major problems in Indonesia.

"In relation to tsunamis and earthquakes and malaria, this is still a low-profile event," he says. "So politically, the leaders of these provinces give it the priority you'd expect, which is not very high."

Indonesia says it needs the money it has cut from the budget to pay for reconstruction in the wake of this year's earthquake in Yogyakarta.

But while the human cases continue to creep into the headlines, bird flu experts worry that if Indonesia's problem is left to grow, it could become a global one.

In relation to tsunamis and earthquakes and malaria, this is still a low-profile event
John Weaver, FAO in Jakarta

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/5327522.stm
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