Bird flu infected provinces in Indonesia drop to 14

Updated: 2006-10-21 15:07
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The number of bird-flu infected provinces in Indonesia dropped by 14 from 30, a official said here Saturday.

These 14 provinces have declared free from avian influenza (AI) virus in the past six months, Antara news agency quoted Bayu Krisnamurthi, executive officer of the National Commission of the Bird Flu Control and AI Pandemic Alertness, as saying.

The AI-free provinces included South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, West Sumatera, West Nusa Tenggara, and West Sulawesi.

Bird flu cases were also not found in South Sumatera, Bangka Belitung, Riau, Jambi, East Kalimantan, Riau Islands and West Irian Jaya.

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari said that such development was encouraging in an effort to prevent the AI virus from affecting people.

"The problem is poultry. If we can control AI infection on poultry, the virus will not infect human beings," the minister said.

Between July 2005 and October 17, 2006, there were 72 cases of bird flu infections in Indonesia, and the virus has so far killed 55 affected people.

The case fatality rate (CFR) of the avian influenza virus reached 76.39 percent, she added.

To deal with the fatal disease, the Indonesian government has provided Oseltamivir or Tamiflu to a number of hospitals across the country.