Indonesia Takes Steps To Anticipate H5N1JAKARTA, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- The Indonesian government has been on alert on the possible spread of bird flu viruses (H5N1) following a global concern that the virus may mutate to a certain form that can spread among human, Xinhua news agency reported quoting a minister as saying here on Tuesday.
On Jan 3, a 23-year-old Indonesian man suspected of having avian influenza died in a hospital in the capital of Jakarta following the death of one of his pigeon a week before.
Indonesian Agriculture Minister Suswono Arsyaf said that his ministry had received informal information from the international organisations that the viruses would later show an indication that they could mutate to a certain form that make it enable to spread among humans.
"This is a warning. The concern over possible human-to-human spread has appeared. I have received such information informally," said Suswono.
Despite there was no any mass bird-flu case on poultry or cattle, the minister had ordered to impose a precaution measure.
"We keep monitoring the viruses as part of our alertness on bird flu. I have ordered officials to persistently conduct surveillance. And we ask people don't be reluctant to report any animal or poultry sudden death or the person himself or herself being sick," he said at the State Palace.
Indonesia had been hit the hardest by bird flu years ago with more than 100 fatalities, but then the spread of the viruses has been slow.
Deputy Health Minister Ali Gufron said that the government had set up task force teams to face the threat and hospitals had been prepared.
"We anticipate by preventing the virus from spreading to human or other places. Teams have been set up that can operate more effectively and efficient," he said.