Half of Indonesia Bird Flu Endemic

It’s nothing new that Indonesia has suffered losses of human life to Bird flu. For travellers, if you asked your doctor before travelling what was the best precaution, then he would probably recommend Tamiflu although not affective to a certain degree.

Unfortunately, you have to recognise the symptoms of Bird Flu before you start taking the medication (Huh!). And what are the symptoms?. Well, they are the same as any strain of flu. CDC explains the symptoms:

Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress), and other severe and life-threatening complications. The symptoms of avian influenza may depend on which virus caused the infection.

There was an interesting article in the Tempo Interactive about the regencies and cities that have or are affected by the Avian virus:

Half of Indonesia Bird Flu Endemic
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:

As many as 223 out of 444 regencies or cities in all of Indonesia are bird flu virus endemic areas (areas that been hit by the virus and there is always the potential for this to reoccur.

“This number is already half of the total regencies in Indonesia,” Memed Z.H., Head of Public Communication for Bird Flu Campaign Management of the Agriculture Department, told Tempo, Saturday (13/1).

According to Memed, this number which was valid up until last Friday, has risen from less than 200 regencies or cities.

So far, only three provinces are free from the deadly virus: Maluku, North Maluku and Gorontalo.

Memed explained that the bird flu endemic provinces are divided into two categories, high-risk areas and areas with low intensity cases.

These high-risk areas are the Agriculture Department’s main target for vaccinations and there are only five provinces that are not included in the two categories.

Musni Suatmodjo, Director of Animal’s Health at the Agriculture Department, said in November last year that the central government had distributed 48 million doses of vaccine to 14 high-risk provinces.

The department also distributed more than 191,000 rapid test kits (bird flu detectors) to 33 provinces.

The Agriculture Department, he said, does not yet have a bird flu hot spot map of all provinces.

This is because, in addition to hampered regional reports, mapping requires time and adequate human resources.

Molecular biologist of Airlangga University, C.A. Nidom, estimated that Jakarta and Tangerang are bird flu epicenters.

This hypothesis is based on the results of model simulations made by bio-informatics calculation.

This bird flu expert explained that if the government performed checks of all Jakarta inhabitants, 70 percent of them could be carrying this virus, although they are neither ill or dead.

Outbreaks of bird flu in Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi are serious again.

Within a two week period, two people have died, one from Kalideres (West Jakarta) and the other from Tangerang.