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    » 09/22/2005, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Fears of bird flu outbreak spread in Indonesia after two children die



    Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Public fears in Indonesia about an outbreak of bird flu that has killed four people in the capital — after two children suspected of having the disease died and 11 other people were hospitalised with flu-like symptoms.

    The government, accused of responding too slowly to the bird flu virus when it first started sweeping through chicken farms across the sprawling archipelago two years ago, scrambled to ward off an epidemic.

    It has fired the country's chief of animal health control for allegedly failing to check the spread of the disease that has since jumped to humans and announced plans on Wednesday for mass slaughters of poultry in infected areas.

    Forty-four hospitals have been prepared to accept bird flu patients and the government said it could forcibly admit anyone with symptoms of the disease.

    "If things worsen it could become an epidemic," said Health Minister Siti Fadila Supari, who was planning to hold a press conference later Thursday.

    The government is awaiting test results on the two and five-year-old girls who died Wednesday, as well as for the 11 patients hospitalised in Jakarta — two after visiting a popular zoo that was closed earlier this week after eagles, peacocks and other birds were found to have the virus.

    The H5N1 strain of bird flu has swept through poultry populations in large swaths of Asia since 2003, killing at least 63 people and resulting in the deaths of tens of millions of birds.

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    See also

    15/06/2005 VIETNAM
    Hanoi announces three new bird flu cases


    27/03/2007 INDONESIA
    Bird flu: Indonesia will give WHO samples only if vaccines are cheap
    Jakarta has denounced that samples are given free to big pharmaceutical firms that produce vaccines which are way too expensive for poor countries. So Indonesia is asking for guarantees that vaccines will be accessible. WHO has offered poor countries the capacity to produce vaccines. Meanwhile, there are more deaths and cases of infection in Indonesia.

    09/11/2005 CHINA
    Prime Minister admits bird flu contagion peril

    WHO will carry out validation checks in Chinese labs, which are under fire after two researchers were infected by Sars in 2004. There is concern about the frequency of outbreaks of infection. The price of poultry is dropping.



    23/11/2005 Vietnam
    New human bird flu case confirmed in Vietnam
    A 15-year-old boy has tested positive for the virus that killed more than 60 people across Asia. In the boy's household, there were dead poultry, the area blocked off.

    01/12/2005 CHINA
    WHO urges China to share H5N1 virus samples

    The Chinese government has agreed to do so, however samples have yet to reach the World Health Organisation.





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