Authorities have so far confirmed that the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus
has infected fowl through 23 of Indonesia's 33 provinces, but senior officials
said new infections were suspected elsewhere and that the outbreaks increase
the risk of the virus mutating into a strain that's more contagious to
humans and could lead to a pandemic that health experts fear could kill
- "It might have spread to more than 23 provinces,"
Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono told reporters. "University
students have collected samples from chickens in Kalimantan, Sumatra and
other places. We are now analyzing them."
- Apriantono expected that the test results, conducted
on blood and other samples from fowl collected by veterinary students from
4 universities, would be announced on 15 Dec 2005.
- (18 days seems a rather extended period for the testing;
details will be appreciated. - Mod.AS)
- Avian Flu Threat Returns
- By Mihai Popescu
- Nineoclock, Romania, issue 3567, page 6, 28 Nov
- Virus H5, responsible for the development of avian influenza,
was found 2 days ago, following tests run on samples from a fowl in the
village of Scarlatesti, the commune of Ciresu, Braila County.
- This focus of avian flu adds to those already found at
Ceamurlia de Jos, Maliuc and Caraorman, Tulcea County in early October
2005. The infected samples at Scarlatesti will be sent for further testing
at a specialized laboratory in the UK, as decided by the Anti-epizootic
National Committee. Braila Prefect Nicolae Mitroi ordered that grade one
quarantine be immediately enforced in the village of Scarlatesti. Manned
road blocks consisting of gendarme and police crews prevent humans, animals
and poultry from leaving the village of Scarlatesti until the avian flu
focus has been completely eradicated, and entry into the focus area is
only allowed after the individuals concerned have been briefed accordingly.
- Not only that, the population is also instructed on the
danger posed by avian influenza. Authorities at Ciresu take measures aimed
at ensuring a steady supply of foodstuffs and other bare essentials, the
supplies being ferried without allowing any access to the isolated area.
Local measures have been taken to isolate the virus.
- Experts with the Braila Sanitary Veterinarian and Food
Safety Department are coordinating the action with a view towards eliminating
the focus of the viral infection at Scarlatesti. The vaccination of the
local populace began yesterday [27 Nov 2005, see comment further], and
so did the killing and incineration of all the fowl in the village, with
payment of commensurate compensation.
- The Agricultural and Rural Development Department sent
teams to the scene to assess the poultry contingent to be sacrificed in
any homestead in order to pay damage compensation. Given that the closest
populated location is 3 km away from the village of Scarlatesti, bird killings
only apply within the radius of the village. Scarlatesti has nearly 400
homesteads, with an estimated 15 000 fowl. No fewer than 249 test samples
have been tested in Braila County since early October 2005.
- The European Union maintains the restrictions on imports
of poultry from 6 counties in eastern Romania: Tulcea, Constanta, Galati,
Braila, Ialomita and Calarasi, but will lift the ban for the other regions
starting 1 Dec 2005, the National Sanitary Veterinarian and Food Safety
Authority says. However, the ban on imports of live fowl from Romania is
still in force. The EU suspended in mid-October 2005 the imports of poultry
and live fowl from Romania after reports of fowl infected with the avian
- (The above Romanian newswire is more lucid and detailed
than yesterday's (27 Nov 2005) posting on the outbreak in Scarlatesti (20051127.3441).
This piece refers specifically to the control measures and the protection
of public health. The vaccination of the local populace (with the standard
annual human vaccine) has been suggested to prevent mixed infections with
human and avian influenza viruses, a situation which theoretically might
lead to virus reassortment (see item  in 20051010.2950). This vaccination
policy was applied in the Netherlands during the H7N7 HPAI outbreak of
2003, for those at risk of exposure to infected birds . It has been widely
applied in Tulcea, Romania, since the onset of the avian influenza outbreaks
there in October 2005.
- According to the official notifications to the OIE, the
vaccination of poultry against avian influenza is not prohibited in Romania.
However, no avian vaccination has been reported. Further information will
- It will also be useful to be informed about whether the
new outbreak was detected due to clinical manifestation of AI in turkeys
or rather by sampling within the reportedly ongoing surveillance activity
(sera? cloacal swabs? other tissues?). - Mod.AS]
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health