Jakarta: The Bird Flu outbreak is threatening to cause a major upheaval to the Nation's health, making it very crucial to contain the spread, according to the Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare, Aburizal Bakrie. The Nation's Economic Minister, equally concerned, has expressed fears on the dwindling poultry industry and a consequent fall back in the Nation's Economic condition, due to the pandemic.
The consequences would be extremely grave, if the disease mutated and entered humans. According to Aburizal, it is absolutely urgent for the Country to integrate its efforts, to contain the outbreak. According to The United Nations Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza, David Nabarro, a pandemic of the H5N1 strain can hit at any time, causing a severe blow to Global health. Statistics have it that, the previous influenza pandemic, triggered by the H1N1 virus, caused the death of 40 million people globally.
The National Committee on Avian Influenza, scheduled to begin work soon, will include Ministries and non-Governmental Agencies, University Research centers and the Indonesian Red Cross. A full time Executive Director will be responsible for its functioning. The bird flu has already spread its wings in 25 of the Country's 33 provinces, with a very slow survival rate, killing 14 of the 19 people affected.
The control team would have the following agenda on its mandate - to control the spread of the virus in poultry, safe-guarding potentially high-risk groups, creating awareness of the risks of bird flu, a check on epidemic spread among poultry and humans, initiating research, and finally gauging the programs' implementation. Although humans in only 4 provinces have been afflicted, the mortality rate was steep at 66%, necessitating immediate measures to contain the spread.