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Indonesia rules out possibility of bird flu cluster
posted by admin on 24/08/06
The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has been pandemic on poultry in the district.
After conducting a probe on bird flu pandemic territory of Garut district in Indonesia's West Java province, health authorities did not find any bird flu cluster, Health Minister Siti Padilah Sufari said here Tuesday.
The authorities have found 17 bird flu cases in the three hamlets of the district recently, three of them are positively infected by avian influenza, two of the three are dead, according to Sufari.
The probe "has already completed, there is no cluster, (the transmissions are) still from animal to human, " she told reporters at the State Palace here.
The minister said that a nine-year-old and a six-year-old girl from Cikeulet village died on the bird flu recently but a 17-year- old man from the same area recovered.
She said that the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus has been pandemic on poultry in the district.
"There were viruses on chickens, so it is pandemic on animal," said Sufari.
Earlier, Indonesian Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono admitted that the virus was difficult to be totally eliminated among poultry due to the country's huge territory and large amount of back yard chicken farm.
His ministry "has depopulated about thousands" of poultry in the district soon after the case appeared, he said.
To prevent further spread of the virus, Sufari said that health authorities had disbursed tamiflu to all residence and expanded test on the community which have possibly been infected by avian influenza.
"We have given more than 2,000 tamiflu" and conducted bird flu tests "door to door," she said.
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Indonesia had probed the possibility of human transmission in the country's West Java province after local tests showed three persons and scores of fowls were infected by bird flu.
Experts have said that the number of fowl culled and inoculated by the Indonesian health authorities is far smaller than the total infected, which can not cut the chain of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus transmission.
Indonesia has become the focus of international attention after the finding of the biggest cluster in Karo regency of North Sumatra province, that killed seven people who had blood links.
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