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Bird Flu Cases Declining In Indonesia, But Prevalence Still Seen High Internationally
uusjio | June 22, 2008 at 05:54 pmby
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It is a debatable question if we wish to see the progress made by Indonesia in eradicating the fatal bird flu virus (H5N1 in this largest archipelagic country.
It depends on where we start in seeing the progress and performance of eradicating the bird flu virus. At national level, it is true the number of bird flu cases in this country has declined compared to last year`s, but at international level, it is still high.
Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari during her visit to Medan, North Sumatra, last week said that in the beginning of the second semester of 2008, the number of birdflu cases on human beings has dropped, and even reached a record low both in 2005, 2006 and even 2007.
The main cause of the decline is the increasing awareness of the people on bird flu, namely that one should immediately do something as soon as the person noticed some symptoms of the fatal disease.
At present each regional administration has a guidebook on bird flu for distribution to all layers of the society.
"Thank God we already have a handbook on bird flu, and we also have the support from some other countries, including Australia, Germany, India, and China," she said.
The minister also said that as the result of foreign media reports in 2006 that birdflu in Indonesia had already been transmitted from people to people after a whole family in Karo Regency, North Sumatra, had been affected by the bird flu virus, Indonesia had been avoided by the international community.
However, whatever containment efforts made by national authorities and the international community in dealing with the spread of the H5N1 virus, FAO in its report in March, 2008, still listed Indonesia as a country worst hit by avian influenza.
Perhaps, this country has made some progress in lowering the number of bird flue cases, but ...