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Cablegate: Avian Influenza - Possible Outbreak in North Sumatra

VZCZCXRO6344
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1512 2210854
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 080854Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9746
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJB/DOJ WASHDC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 7813

UNCLAS JAKARTA 001512

SIPDIS
UNCLASSIFIED

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG, L/DL, EAP/EX, AND OES/IHA
USAID FOR ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
DEPT ALSO PASS TO DOJ for OFL
GENEVA FOR WHO/HOHMAN
USDA/FAS/OSTA BRANT, ROSENBLUM
USDA/APHIS ANNELLI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAGR AMGT PGOV ID KLIG
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA - POSSIBLE OUTBREAK IN NORTH SUMATRA

REF: Jakarta 1503

1. (U) Summary: Avian influenza test results are still unavailable
on the samples from the twelve individuals hospitalized in North
Sumatra with flu-like symptoms. The health of the hospitalized
patients continues to improve. Clinical findings are not consistent
with avian influenza. The Indonesian Department of Agriculture
confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry in the
district. Indonesian government officials are treating the outbreak
seriously. End Summary.

2. (U) Samples from the twelve individuals from Asahan district
hospitalized at Asahan and Adam Malik hospitals arrived at the
Indonesian National Institute of Health Research and Development
(NIHRD) in the late morning August 8, and initial testing likely
will not be complete until the evening of August 8 at the earliest.
Given the potential seriousness of the outbreak, NIHRD will likely
run tests two or three times before releasing any data. Embassy
will inform Washington immediately if any of the samples test
positive for avian influenza.

3. (U) WHO and hospital officials in Asahan indicate that the health
of the ten patients treated in Asahan district hospital continues to
improve and that all are expected to recover fully. The currently
hospitalized cases were found through contact tracing of the
patients who had died. Contact with fever symptoms of an
influenza-like illness were sent to hospital for observation. None
of patients who remained in Asahan currently have a temperature over
38 degrees centigrade and chest radiographs are reported to be
clear. Tamiflu has been administered to all patients and exposed
hospital staff. Prophylaxis doses are not being administered in the
affected village.

4. (U) Two pediatric cases with particularly severe symptoms were
sent to Adam Malik provincial hospital for treatment. According to
the head of the hospital's infectious disease unit, one of the two
patients under his care is slowly improving and has clear
radiographs. The other patient, an eight month-old child, had a
fever of 39 degrees throughout the day. This child's radiograph
revealed a consolidation in the right lung. Both patients are being
treated with Tamiflu and antibiotics.

5. (U) According to the FAO, avian influenza outbreaks have been
reported in poultry in Asahan district by Ministry of Agriculture
PDSR teams since 2006. The local PDSR team initially responded to a
report of sudden poultry death August 4. Using the standard case
definition and rapid test positive for influenza A, the PDSR
officers confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry,
culled all poultry in the village and disinfected the entire
village. Samples were not collected because the PDSR officers did
not have the equipment necessary to transport samples. Embassy has
received reports that culling is completed in the affected area.

6. (U) We have received numerous reports that the potential outbreak
is being taken very seriously and that local officials are following
appropriate guidelines. An interagency command post has been set up
to manage the situation and local authorities have mobilized
throughout the district to strengthen monitoring and outreach
efforts.

HUME

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