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Saturday, January 20th 2007

In Case You Forgot: Bird Flu Still Around

A woman his died in Indonesia from H5N1, bringing the world wide total to 161. Here’s Bloomberg on it,

Bird flu killed a 19-year-old Indonesian woman who died yesterday, said Muhammad Nadhirin, a doctor at the Ministry of Health’s avian flu control center, citing a laboratory test result that came out today.

You have to wonder if in any way, however seemingly ridiculous such fears would be, this is hurting Indonesia’s tourism industry.

Indonesia has recorded more human H5N1 fatalities than any other country, providing chances for H5N1 to mutate into a form more dangerous to people. Millions could die if H5N1 mutates and begins spreading easily between people, sparking a lethal pandemic.

The toll of avian flu so far on humanity?

The H5N1 strain is known to have infected 267 people in 10 countries since 2003, killing 161 of them, the World Health Organization said on Jan. 15.

Plus more not counted in lives lost. For instance individuals in Indonesia will soon no longer be able to raise “backyard poultry.” A reasonable step you say, which should’ve come earlier? You have to ask though how this will affect something as basic as feeding their families.