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Monday, July 26, 2010

Indonesia : Commission fate still unclear while cases trickle in

Via Jakarta Post :

" The formation of a national-level commission to tackle animal-borne diseases that pose deadly threats to humans is still under discussion while across the country, multiple cases of bird flu continue to be reported.

“There are several views: Some believe a national commission is needed, while others feel a working group is enough,” Rita Kusriastuti, the director general of zoonotic diseases at the Health Ministry, said Sunday.

March marked the end of the working term for the National Commission for Bird Flu Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (Komnas FBPI), after four years of avian flu prevention and awareness campaigns.

The year the commission was formed, more than 40 people died from the disease. While the number of those infected in 2010 is significantly smaller, several new cases have popped up in various parts of Indonesia. The latest victim was a 13-year-old resident of Central Java.

The Health Ministry said the victim started experiencing flu-like synptoms on June 16 and was admitted to a hospital in Sukoharjo on June 21 before being referred to another hospital in Surakarta, also in Central Java, two days later. The patient died a day after moving to the second hospital.

Just weeks earlier, the ministry recorded another death from avian flu. The H5N1 virus, known to cause the disease, struck in the country’s capital, Jakarta, and killed a 34-year-old resident.

On Sunday, Antara news agency reported that more than 70 chickens in six villages in Bengkulu province had died in the last two months from avian flu."

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