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Two Zoo Workers Test Positive for H5N1 in Jakarta Indonesia

Recombinomics Commentary

September 19, 2005

Four pygmy chickens will be culled, but there are no plans for a mass culling exercise.

Titis Sari Muntorini, a Ragunan Zoo spokeswoman, said: "The other 15 infected birds, because they are endangered species, will for now be treated and isolated inside the surplus cages in the southern part of the zoo."

Health workers have also taken blood samples from zoo staff for testing as a precautionary measure.

Zelfino, Indonesia Health Ministry, said: "From our tests, there are two workers who appear infected with flu. They will be referred to Sulianti Hospital - one of the hospitals designated to treat the bird flu victims."

The above report indicates two zoo workers are H5N1 positive.  The report does not provide enough detail to determine if they are positive for antibodies or sequences. It also does not give information on symptoms.

The above report also suggests that the H5N1 birds are alive and endangered birds are bing quarantined.  Since only 4 of the first 27 were negative, the positive data may indicate that the vast majority of the birds at the zoo are infected because it is not clear that the 27 tested were significantly different than the other 2100 birds at the zoo.

If however, the birds were showing early signs of bird flu, then the condition of the workers may decline and many birds or workers tested at this time may give false negative results.

It is also important to determine if the H5N1 at the zoo is from wild birds or domestic poultry, so sequence data would be useful.


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