WHO: Indonesia Needs Helping Fighting Bird

Posted on April 5, 2008

Indonesia has been the hardest hit country in the battle against bird flu. They recently suffered their 100th fatality from the deadly H5N1 virus. Containment is the best method we have to keep bird flu from mutating into a form that spreads easily from human-to-human. The BBC reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) says Indonesia will need more help in its battle against the disease.

The virus is endemic in Java, Sumatra, Bali and southern Sulawesi with sporadic outbreaks reported from other areas, the FAO said.

By June 2008, more than 2,000 surveillance and response teams will be active in more than 300 districts in areas of the country where the disease is endemic, Mr Domenech said.

But that may not be enough.

"Indonesia is facing an uphill battle against a virus that is difficult to contain. Major human and financial resources, stronger political commitment and strengthened co-ordination between the central, provincial and district authorities are required to improve surveillance and control measures," Mr Domenech said.

If bird flu gets out of control in Indonesia it might expose more humans to the disease and give the disease a great chance of mutating.

Update 4-17-08: A WHO human cases update shows that of the 23 bird flu fatalities this year 12 of them have occurred in Indonesia.

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