Avian flu reported again in Indonesia

Mar 3, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More than 12,000 chickens and quail have died in the past 2 months in an outbreak of avian influenza on the Indonesian island of Java, according to an Associated Press (AP) report published today.

The viruses involved are H5N1 and H7N1, said an Indonesian official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Avian flu killed about 1.6 million chickens in the same region in West Java province last year, the official said.

H5N1 avian flu has occurred in at least eight Asian countries since late 2003 and has caused 66 human illness cases, 46 of them fatal. No human cases have been reported in Indonesia, the AP report said.

Although the official told the AP that Indonesia has been dealing with the outbreak for 2 months, the country's most recent report on avian flu to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was filed in October 2004.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has reported that its poultry outbreaks are subsiding. More than 1.5 million birds have been culled in Vietnam since January. However, 14 of 35 affected areas have detected no new outbreaks for at least 3 weeks, China's Xinhua news agency reported today, citing Vietnam's Department of Animal Health.

Avian flu has continued to spread in Ben Tre, Long An, and Dong Thap provinces, according to a Vietnam News Service report yesterday.

Thailand's most recent report to OIE indicated the country still has sporadic outbreaks, with fewer than 200 chickens and ducks fatally infected or culled in the week that ended Feb 24.

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