Indonesia Winning Against Bird Flu

Indonesia’s agriculture minister said that Indonesia is winning its fight against bird flu and expects to be free of the killer virus by 2008.

“During the rainy season, bird flu cases did increase, but in general, cases both in humans and animals are declining in Indonesia,” Anton Apriyantono said in Jakarta. “This is because we have gained experience and are capable of fighting bird flu in better ways.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 31 people have contracted bird flu in Indonesia since 2005, and 23 of them have died – the second-highest total for any country, after Vietnam.

The bird flu-causing H5N1 virus has killed 109 people in nine countries, mostly in Asia, according to WHO, and has killed or prompted authorities to destroy 200 million birds.

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