Zero human AI cases is the target for this year

Indonesia is aiming for zero human bird flu cases this year, as officials report that public education campaigns and widespread poultry vaccination are proving effective.

Indonesia has had the highest number of fatalities from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, with 57 deaths from 74 confirmed cases. The most recent fatality was that of a 35-year-old woman on November 28.
Bayu Krisnamurthi, head of the national committee for control of avian influenza, says that mass poultry vaccination is working to slow down infection rates.
Krisnamurthi added that organisations such as the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization are now more convinced that Indonesia's chosen method of fighting bird flu, vaccinating poultry, has started to show good results
The vast majority of human cases have occurred after contact with infected poultry.
Indonesia has received widespread criticism for not providing incentives for farmers to cull birds in affected areas.
But Krisnamurthi says: "Particularly after the latest cases in China and Vietnam, it is proven that mass culling does not guarantee that the environment is free from the virus."
Indonesia has not reported any new cases of human infection since November 28. Since October, 14 provinces have not reported any new outbreaks among poultry.
Krisnamurthi also announced a substantial increase in spending on prevention of bird flu and pandemic preparedness, but acknowledged that some areas, in particular the vaccination program, remained under-funded.
"We have about 10 percent of [the vaccines] we need to effectively vaccinate chickens raised in backyard farms."

Editor WorldPoultry

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