August 12, 2013
Indonesia's Health Ministry will step up precautionary measures in
response to the recent discovery that H7N9, the deadly bird flu strain
that has caused deaths in China and Taiwan, is transmittable among
humans, heightening concern that it could lead to a pandemic.
“We will begin to use the thermal scanners after the Idul Fitri holiday
is over, particularly in major airports including Soekarno-Hatta
International Airport [Jakarta] and Ngurah Rai International Airport
[Denpasar], which serve direct flights from China and Taiwan,” the
ministry’s director general for disease control and environmental health
Tjandra Yoga Aditama told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
According to Tjandra, the ministry would also distribute health information cards to passengers arriving from China and Taiwan.
Tjandra said that the ministry had been aware of the possibility that
the virus could spread by human-to-human transmission and had taken
“We were aware that there are four cases where people who lived in the
same neighbourhood were infected with the H7N9 virus strain in China,”
Tjandra said. “Human-to-human infection is indeed possible and we have
prepared for that,” he went on.
As reported by the Associated Press, a new study published in the
British Medical Journal on August 6 found evidence that H7N9 had spread