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Jakarta Post

RI remains global bird flu ‘hot spot’

  • Elly Burhaini Faizal

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 30 2011   /  10:00 am

The number of bird flu infections has declined over the past few years, but Indonesia remains the virus’ “hot spot”, as backyard poultry farms remain the backbone in supplying meat for the population, a senior health official says.

Rita Kusriastuti, director of animal-borne infectious disease control at the Health Ministry, said on Thursday that low figures in bird flu infections did not necessarily mean the worst was over, as chickens kept by residents in backyard farms had potential risk factors for transmitting the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus ( H5N1 ).

“It’s not surprising that up to now we have had to stay alert on bird flu and even declare our country as a bird flu “hot spot”, as we haven’t so far managed to implement good husbandry systems for those chickens,” she told a press briefing, marking the end of the four-year pilot phase of a bi...