Published Date: 2005-05-14 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza - Eastern Asia (52): Indonesia, pigs
Archive Number: 20050514.1317
AVIAN INFLUENZA - EASTERN ASIA (52): INDONESIA, PIGS
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters alertnet, 13 May 2005 [edited]
Bird flu found in Indonesian pigs
Bird flu has infected pigs in Indonesia, the Agriculture Ministry said on
Friday, raising fears of a wider outbreak in the world's 4th most populous
country and South East Asia's biggest economy.
The ministry conducted tests on pigs after local scientists reported that
pigs in several farms on the main island of Java were infected. "We will
continue to take some measures to prevent the avian influenza virus from
spreading," said agriculture minister Anton Apriyantono. "As soon as we
have enough details, we will explain it further."
So far there have been no reports of people in Indonesia being infected
with the H5N1 bird flu virus. Since 2003, 36 Vietnamese, 12 Thais, and 4
Cambodians have been killed by the H5N1 strain.
Pigs can carry human flu viruses, which can combine with the avian viruses,
swap genes, and create virulent new strains, health experts say. They fear
the virus could mutate into a form which can pass easily among humans and
trigger a global pandemic that could kill millions.
Specimens from Indonesian poultry workers have been sent for tests in Hong
Kong as a precaution, officials said. "At the moment, the government
doesn't have an effective way to prevent the disease being transmitted from
fowl to pigs. There is no vaccination yet for pigs," said Tri Satya Putri
Naipospos, director of animal health at the ministry.
New cases of H5N1 have re-emerged on a relatively small scale in some parts
of Indonesia since it was 1st found in late 2003. A total of 281 730 fowl
either died from the virus or were culled in the January-March 
period, latest government data show. Since late 2003, Indonesia has lost
around 8.9 million fowl.
Indonesian authorities insist that, overall, the deadly disease is under
[From the said newswire it is not clear whether the allegedly infected pigs
demonstrated clinical signs of disease. Indonesia's last update report on
Avian influenza H5N1, No 7, was sent to the OIE on 7 Apr 2005. It notified
36 outbreaks, all in avians. A fresh update, preferably including data on
the situation in pigs, would be helpful. - Mod.AS]