AI-endemic regions in Indonesia halved

According to an Indonesian health official, the number of Indonesian provinces where bird flu is endemic has nearly halved in the past six months.

The whole of densely populated Java, however, remains affected.
While it is widely known that 30 of Indonesia's 33 provinces have reported outbreaks of avian influenza, 14 of these have reported no new cases in the past six months, and 21 of the total have never had a human infection.
Indonesia recently recorded its 55th human death from bird flu, and in spite of a recent media campaign, there has been no sign of a slowdown. UN avian influenza expert Dr David Nabarro has said that the continuing evidence of the virus in Indonesia is cause for concern.
Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the Indonesian national committee on avian influenza control and pandemic influenza preparedness said, “We are always striving against the problem, of course big challenges remain in provinces that are not free [of bird flu] especially those with a high density ratio of population and fowl.”
Bird flu has now killed 151 people in nine countries since 2003, according to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form that can be passed easily between people, leading to a possible human pandemic which could kill millions.
Indonesian ministers recently commited to banning free-roaming poultry in backyards in cities.

Editor WorldPoultry

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