Much More Bird-Flu in Indonesia, than we know of!

While the Government of Indonesia is busy “negotiating” with the World Health Organisation for its “National Assests” (the tissue samples of its citizens who have died from the H5N1 virus), the Bird-Flu virus is raging all over the unfortunate country, killing millions of birds, some mammals and more humans than any where else.

Siti Fadilah Supari

Indonesian Health Minister

Now we learn that the Bird-Flu situation in Indonesia, is even worse than we thought it was!

Heru Setijanto, a veterinarian with the Bogor Institute of Agriculture, warned that the bird flu cases could be the tip of the iceberg.

“Chickens die everywhere. The problem is the deaths are not always reported,” he said.

Heru conceded there were shortages of veterinarians in the field as nationwide there were only 200 animal health posts.

“Half of the posts are not functioning.” Ideally, each district should have an animal health post overseen by a veterinarian, Heru said.

Avian influenza has killed no less than 500,000 chicken in Greater Jakarta in the last six months but not all outbreaks are reported to the health authority

Roeslan Isdhianto said Tuesday the data was collected from 10 poultry farmers — all of whom own 100-200 chickens on average — in Jakarta, Tangerang, Bogor and Bekasi.

The Bogor-based veterinarian said the farmers had told him cases were not being detected by the health authority because there was a shortage of field officers.

Roeslan said the government had taken the wrong approach to vaccinating birds.

“The government doesn’t have a firm stance in its vaccination policy,” Roeslan said as quoted by Antara.

“At present, there are 15 kinds of vaccine for the three AI subtypes of H5N1, H5N2 and H5N9. The government hasn’t clearly ruled which of the three is most suitable for our AI cases here,” he said.

Roeslan said none of the vaccines on the market had been properly evaluated.

“Monitoring and evaluating the performance of the vaccines already in use is important,” he said.

In January, bird flu outbreaks were reported in 43 subdistricts of Bogor. However, due to a lack of monitoring, there have been no reports on whether the areas are now “disease free”.

Sources:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailcity.asp?fileid=20070808.H04&irec=3

www.essex.ac.uk 

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/november9/gifs/flu.jpg

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