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Bird Flu sweeps across Indonesia JAKARTA - Cities in Indonesia are falling like dominos to bird flu: Garut in West Java, then Kendari in Southeast Sulawesi, then Dairi, Serang, and finally Simalungun in North Sumatra. Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, is still unaffected, but the cause of the recent deaths of 40 chickens there has yet to be determined. Other areas have not yet reported outbreaks but it may just be a matter of time before they too fall to bird flu. In Garut, the virus first appeared in the villages of Cikelet and Cigadog, but it has since spread to other villages. The number of suspected bird flu victims continues to rise each day.

Health Ministry officials who hope to check the spread of the virus in the area are monitoring seven villages in Garut. Officials have also gone to each village looking for people who show signs of infection and sending them to the nearest hospital. Hendra, 21, and Gilang, 9, were the latest victims to test positive for the bird flu virus. They received medical treatment at Dr. Slamet Hospital in Garut. Four others are under observation in their homes by Health Ministry teams. If their conditions worsen, the teams will bring them to the hospital.

In response to a rising number of bird flu victims in West Java, the government there has designated 10 hospitals as virus treatment centers. Each of those hospitals will have isolated rooms and a dedicated nursery for handling bird flu patients. In Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, more than 1,300 chickens in seven sub districts were slaughtered after testing positive for the bird flu virus. It will be difficult to check the spread of the virus in this province because it is a major poultry farming area.

Two young children suffering from high fever, hard coughs, and shortness of breath were reportedly sent to the hospital in Kendari. Blood samples have been sent to Jakarta. In North Sumatra, as the bird flu flare-up in Tanah Karo subsided, Simalungun was hit this week. More than 15,000 chickens were culled, although the people were reluctant initially to hand over their poultry, fearing that they would not be compensated. Serang also reported the bird flu virus last week after about 300 chickens suddenly died. Officials there seemed to be moving too slowly to stop the spread of the virus.

One of the greatest impediments to stopping the spread of the virus is lack of awareness. Veterinary officials cannot be everywhere at once. Because the symptoms of the virus are similar to those of common chicken ailments, villagers often attribute the death of their chickens to something besides bird flu. It is only after someone in the community becomes sick or dies that the truth becomes known. Even then, the symptoms of the virus are similar to common human ailments. Sometimes they do not seek medical treatment assuming that they have only a cold or sore throat.


Link to related event Related event:
Bird flu in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu') Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu'):
24 August 2006 · World Bank urges Indonesia to raise bird flu budget
24 August 2006 · WHO confirms 60th bird flu case, urges sequence sharing
22 August 2006 · Bekasi girl tests positive for bird flu-official
21 August 2006 · Indonesia plays down likelihood of bird flu cluster
09 August 2006 · Indonesian boy has bird flu, local tests


Posted in Bird Flu @ 25 August 2006 16:06 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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