Friday, March 04, 2005

Recent bird flu developments

Local newspapers in Vietnam are reporting three more suspected cases of bird flu in the northern part of the country (via Xinhuanet [PR China]). The previously confirmed cases of the 35 year old woman garbage collector and the brother and sister, from Thai Binh province near Hanoim are still being treated, although they appear to be doing better. One of the new patients was again from Thai Binh, the other two from Hai Duong and Nam Dinh provinces.

Meanwhile in Indonesia's West Java region, bird flu has reported again, killing over 12,000 chickens in the last two months and still spreading (reportedly H5N1 and H7N1). The Indonesian government is upbeat about containing the outbreak, but The Jakarta Post (via IndoExchange) has this caution:
The government only went public with last year's bird flu outbreak after remaining silent for five months.

Until it came out and publicly acknowledged the outbreak, the government was insisting the country was free of the disease, which was first spotted on Aug. 29, 2003, in Pekalongan, Central Java. The government had been blaming the deaths of thousands of chickens across East Java and Bali on Newcastle disease, which is caused by a virus that is harmless to humans.
Hardly reassuring.