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Indonesia asks troops to fight bird flu JAKARTA - Indonesia has called on the military to help fight bird flu, a day after a young girl became the country's sixth victim this month. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered the military chief to deploy soldiers to help fight the disease, Cabinet Secretary Sudi Silalahi told reporters. "He called on governors, regents, mayors to be more active in leading efforts to fight bird flu in affected areas," Silalahi said after ministers held talks with Yudhoyono.

The sense of alarm was highlighted by the country's welfare minister earlier in the day. "Even though our continued effort is giving some significant progress, we are still on highest alert," Aburizal Bakrie, said at a ceremony to receive 100,000 sets of protective equipment donated by the United States. Indonesia has the highest bird flu death toll and is stepping up efforts to stamp out the disease after a flare up in cases this year.

"Indonesia is very serious in addressing this threat," Bakrie said a day after a six year-old girl died - Indonesia's 63rd victim of the disease that has killed 164 people globally since 2003. He said the government had succeeded in containing human infections in nine of the 30 high risk provinces. The disease, however, remains endemic in fowl in some of the most densely populated parts of Indonesia, including Java.

The WHO says bird flu has infected 269 people worldwide since late 2003, not including the latest death in Indonesia. Experts fear the more the virus spreads in birds, the greater the chances it might mutate into a form that causes a flu pandemic in humans. Millions of people could die. Ducks can carry the H5N1 virus without showing symptoms and the waterfowl has been the main source for outbreaks in the country where 42 people have died of the disease since 2003. Vietnam has not detected any human cases since November 2005.


Link to related event Related event:
Bird flu in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu') Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu'):
24 January 2007 · UN: Bird flu endemic in Indonesia
21 January 2007 · Jakarta residents line up for free meat; mass poultry culls
20 January 2007 · Bird flu claims 62nd human life in West Java
18 January 2007 · Indonesia makes new efforts to curb spread of bird flu
17 January 2007 · Indonesia braces as bird flu flares anew in Asia in winter


Posted in Bird Flu @ 27 January 2007 09:45 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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