The Deli Serdang Health Agency in North Sumatra has confirmed that no residents in the regency have been infected by avian influenza (AI) after the highly pathogenic virus recently caused the sudden death of tens of thousands of poultry in the regency.
Agency secretary Ade Budi Krista said a number of residents had visited the agency's bird flu command posts, which had been operating for the last two days, for medical consultation after they had experienced fever.
'Our examination confirmed that none of them had been infected by the bird flu virus. They were only suffering from common fever,' Ade told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The bird flu virus recently infected over 50,000 poultry in Karang Anyar, Pasar VI Kualanamu and Beringin subdstricts. The regency's Animal Husbandry Agency has confirmed that the outbreak had been caused by bird flu. To monitor people's health, Ade said his agency would keep the bird flu command posts open for the next two weeks in the three subdistricts.
Influenza viruses that infect birds are called avian influenza, or bird flu, viruses. Avian influenza usually does not make wild birds sick, but can make domesticated birds very sick and kill them.
AI viruses do not usually infect humans. However, several instances of human infections and outbreaks have been reported since 1997. Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical influenza-like symptoms, such as fever, cough and sore throat, to eye infections, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.
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