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H5N1 Toll in Jakarta Indonesia
Contues to Grow

Recombinomics Commentary

September 18, 2005

The main zoo in Indonesia's capital was shut down after 19 of its birds died of the avian influenza that has killed four people in the sprawling country, officials said today.

The zoo will be closed for at least three weeks pending an investigation. Birds that test positive for the disease will be killed, all others will be vaccinated against the deadly virus.

Three patients, meanwhile, were being treated as suspected bird flu cases at the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital, said Dr Santoso Suroso, who was awaiting lab tests to confirm whether or not they had the illness.

There was no evidence that any of them was infected at the Ragunan Zoo, he said.

The above comments raise the number being treated to three at the infectious disease hospital.  It is not clear if the relative, who is positive and has symptoms, has been admitted, so that may be the fourth patient being treated. That is in addition to the four who have died and the 2 month old who has not been tested.

The update also indicates that the testing at the zoo was due to bird deaths.  It is unclear if the 27 tested were all dead.  If so, the inclonclusives and negatives remain suspected false negatives.

The widespread nature of H5N1 in pigs, poultry, and people demands and aggressive testing campaign, including re-tests of the 20 earlier suspect cases.

The true extent of H5N1 in humans in Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia remains unclear.

Indonesia is clearly an area where H5N1 cannot be wished away.

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