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Officials in Bali Escalate War on Avian Influenza

Bird Flu Update: Bali Receives 1.5 Million Doses of Vaccine.

(2/9/2004) Indonesia's Directorate General of Livestock and the Minister of Agriculture have provided Bali poultry enterprises with 1.5 million dosages of bird flu vaccine for the protection of chickens and ducks on the island.

Local press reports indicate that the avian influenza or bird flu has already claimed 398,000 birds in Bali who have died from the disease or been culled as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the disease. Local farmers who have lost birds are being provided with day-old-chicks as a form of government compensation to help them restore their businesses.

No Confirmed Human Cases in Indonesia

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of human infections of avian influenza in Bali with all cases of human infection in the region among people working in close proximity to captive poultry populations.

In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on February 6, 2004 that tests carried out in Vietnam on the first suspected human-to-human infections have now been fully sequenced by the Government Virus Unit of Hong Kong's Department of Health.

Both virus samples, taken from two Vietnam sisters who died of avian influenza, contained no human influenza genes causing researchers to conclude that the women caught the disease from a captive poultry populations and not from each other. This is consistent with earlier findings and no illness has been reported in other family members, the women's local community, or in health workers who attended them.