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WHO urges Indonesia to improve counter-bird flu efforts
www.chinaview.cn 2005-07-27 12:16:43

   ĦĦJAKARTA, July 27 (Xinhuanet) -- While generally satisfied with the way Indonesia is handling the first human bird flu deaths in the country, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the government needed to improve its counter-bird flu efforts.

    The representative of the United Nations' health body here, Georg Petersen, said the government needed a more comprehensive working plan.

    "The Indonesian government followed all the WHO recommendations.We are pleased to see how they followed the issue (of the bird flu case), taking care of the case and following procedure in investigating the case," Petersen was quoted Wednesday by The Jakarta Post newspaper as saying.

    However, he added that every country needed to improve its efforts in facing a possible outbreak.

    "WHO continues to work with the government to look out for it,"Petersen said, but did not elaborate.

    With the country confirming its first human bird flu case, and with more birds dying elsewhere in the world, including Russia, WHO warned last Friday that there were signs that a long-dreaded global influenza pandemic may be approaching.

    Health officials fear that the bird flu virus will mutate and mix with human influenza, creating a deadly pandemic strain that becomes easily transmissible and could kill millions of people.

    The strain has killed hundreds of thousands of birds and 58 people in Asia since its resurfacing in 2003.

    Indonesia confirmed its first deaths from the HN51 strain of bird flu last week, Iwan Siswara, an official at the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), and his two young daughters. The three resided in Tangerang.

    After the confirmation, the government vowed to cull both sick and healthy birds and pigs within a three-kilometer radius of any infected farm as suggested by WHO to help curb the disease from spreading to other areas. Enditem

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