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Cablegate: Indonesia - November 6 Avian Influenza (Ai) Update

VZCZCXYZ0011
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJA #3014/01 3102320
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 062320Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1807
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFIUU/BUMED WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 7438
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0065
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 1954

UNCLAS JAKARTA 013014

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/IET, MED/DASHO/EMR AND MED
DEPT FOR G/AIAG AND OES
DEPT PASS TO USDA/FAS/DLP/HWETZEL AND FAS/ICD/LAIDIG
DEPT ALSO PASS TO USDA/FAS/FAA/DYOUNG AND USDA/APHIS/ANNELLI
DEPT ALSO PASS TO USAID/ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/ABHAT/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
PARIS FOR FAS/AG MINISTER COUNSELOR
BANGKOK FOR APHIS/CARDENAS, RMO, CDC, USAID/RDM/A
CANBERRA FOR APHIS/EDWARDS
ROME FOR FAO
NSC FOR JMELINE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR AMGT PGOV ID KFLU
SUBJECT: INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 6 AVIAN INFLUENZA (AI) UPDATE

REF: A) Jakarta 12828 B) Jakarta 12781

1. (SBU) Summary. On November 1, Bayu Krisnamurthi, Executive
Secretary for the National AI Committee assured the press that

SIPDIS
Indonesian research shows no signs that the H5N1 virus is
mutating to a more dangerous form in the country. Food and
Agriculture Organization officials concur but caution that there
has been limited research into the issue. On October 27, FAO
privately expressed skepticism about the Government of
Indonesia's announcement of avian influenza free provinces. With
no new human cases since Ref B, as of November 3, NAMRU-2 data
continue to reflect 72 confirmed cases with 55 fatalities. End
Summary.

Indonesian Research Shows No AI Virus Mutation
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (U) On November 1, National Committee on Avian Influenza
Management and Pandemic Alert (KOMNAS) Executive Secretary Bayu
Krisnamurthi told Dow Jones Newswires that Indonesian research
has not seen signs that the H5N1 avian influenza virus is
mutating into more pathological, less treatable strains. Research
on bird flu in Indonesia has not detected the existence of the
Fujian-like strain. "All over Indonesia, for the last three
years, we've studied the DNA and strains of the virus,"
Krisnamurthi noted. "Until the present day, no report has been
submitted to the National Committee of a mutated strain."
According to KOMNAS research, the virus is still in the original
forms first detected in Indonesia.

3. (SBU) FAO officials concur that virology to date does not show
mutation. However, the FAO cautions that there has been
relatively little research into the issue. Ministry of
Agriculture (MOA) stopped sending virus samples to overseas
reference laboratories from late 2005 through June 2006. In
July, the MOA resumed sending samples to an Australian reference
laboratory. Preliminary results from the first 50 viable samples
sent indicate that the Indonesian viruses continue to fit amongst
previous isolates on the phylogenetic tree. The MOA has not yet
released this data to international databases.

FAO's Reaction to GOI October 20 Announcement
---------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Reftel A described Coordinating Minister for Peoples'
Welfare Aburizal Bakrie's October 20 announcement that the number
of Indonesian provinces affected by the AI virus in poultry has
fallen from 30 to 16 over the past six months.
"That finding is based on our observations for the last six
months", Bakrie said. "Fourteen provinces have been considered
free or did not report any bird flu cases to the National
Committee for AI Control and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness", he
continued.

5. (SBU) We contacted the FAO to get their reaction to this
announcement. According to a senior official at FAO, "It is a
statement based on 'no report' rather than 'no disease.' We have
no evidence to support any of the infected provinces as
progressing to disease freedom - with the possible exception of
West Irian and Papua - both of which require follow up
surveillance." Active surveillance through the Participatory
Disease Surveillance program (PDS) is functioning at this time in
only seven AI endemic provinces. Until the PDS program or other
active surveillance program is operating in the other provinces,
it is impossible to confirm whether or not they are AI free.

NAMRU-2 Human AI Case Profile
-----------------------------

5. (SBU) NAMRU-2 reports no new human cases since Ref A. NAMRU-2
data indicates the following AI-related case profile as of
November 3:

-- Number of laboratory confirmed (positive PCR and/or serology)
human AI cases: 72, of which 55 have been fatal (case fatality
rate of 77 percent).

-- Number of probable AI cases 3 (2 deaths, 67%).

-- Number of cases awaiting analysis at the U.S. CDC: 1.

-- Number of possible untested AI cases under investigation (last
30 days): approximately 15.

Note: NAMRU-2 data corresponds with MOH data but may vary at
times with AI case figures presented on the official World Health
Organization (WHO) website, which usually lags NAMRU-2 data by
one week. The WHO website, last updated on October 31, notes 72
human AI cases in Indonesia with 55 deaths. WHO figures can be
accessed at www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza.

HEFFERN

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