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Bird flu remains out of control in Indonesia

Friday, July 14, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: Indonesia, health news, Natural News


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(NewsTarget) A U.S. laboratory confirmed Friday that a 3-year-old was Indonesia's 41st death from the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Indonesian Health Ministry Director General Nyoman Kandun says the country will not be able to control the disease with the current measures in place.

Leading veterinarians say that Indonesia's bird flu woes will continue because the government has been sparingly conducting vaccination, early detection, research, eradication and public education, and not all at the same time.

"Incidental culling in one area and vaccination in another would not ensure the virus would be gone," said Rangga Tabu, an animal expert from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, on Thursday.

Kandun agreed, saying that the infections would continue until Indonesia found a way to prevent the disease from spreading from birds to humans. "As long as you cannot manage the upstream (of the disease) to people, you will be examining the cases all the time," he said.

International scientists warn that it may only be a matter of time before H5N1 mutates to a form that is easily transmitted from person to person, igniting a global pandemic that could claim the lives of millions.

While Indonesia has not had the most total human bird-flu-related deaths, it has suffered 30 in 2006 alone, with the virus having an overall 75 percent fatality rate. Vietnam has the highest total number of bird flu deaths (42), but has not had a single case this year.

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