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Cablegate: Avian Influenza -- Bali Outbreaks Update

VZCZCXRO2888
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJS #0031 2410911
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 290911Z AUG 07
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0044
RUEHPH/CDC CDC ATLANTA GA PRIORITY
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0003
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0003
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0001
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0001
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0046

UNCLAS SURABAYA 000031

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, G/AIAG, AND OES
USAID FOR ANE/CLEMENTS AND GH/CARROLL
DEPT ALSO PASS TO HHS/WSTEIGER/MSTLOUIS AND HHS/NIH
GENEVA FOR AHO/HOHMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED CASC EAGR AMGT PGOV ID
SUBJECT: AVIAN INFLUENZA -- BALI OUTBREAKS UPDATE

REF: JAKARTA 2333 AND PREVIOUS

This message is Senstive but Unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) During an August 24 courtesy call by the Principal
Officer, the Governor of Bali Dewa Made Beratha stressed that
local government and health officials were taking proactive
measures to restrict the spread of Avian Influenza (AI) on the
island. The Governor admitted that Balinese officials had
become complacent after four years without a human infection and
had made a major mistake by not compelling local residents to
cull their infected flocks. He added that local residents were
so scared by the confirmed deaths of two people from AI that
they were now culling their flocks without government
instruction. The Governor said that culling had occurred in 80
villages in areas where AI in birds had been reported.

2. (SBU) The Governor expressed concern that government efforts
to control the spread through culling, regular applications of
disinfectant, education of the population, training of medical
personnel, and poultry import limitations would be undermined by
smuggling from neighboring Lombok and East Java. Officials
don't have the capacity to stop these operations. The Governor
said that Bali had received assistance from the central
government and international community, in particular Japan,
over the past four years in the form of vaccines, disinfectant
and compensation funds for poultry farmers. He reiterated that
the recent deaths were an anomaly.

3. (SBU) Local tourism officials and hotel general managers
noted that reports of AI deaths in Bali were not having an
impact on tourism, having occurred in regions outside the major
tourist destinations. The general managers cautioned that a
case of Avian Influenza within the tourist community could have
a detrimental impact on rebounding tourism figures. One GM
relayed unconfirmed reports that the victim from the Tabanan
District (reftel) was married to an employee at one of the major
hotel chains. According to the Tourism office, 5,823 Americans
(direct foreign arrivals) traveled to Bali in July 2007, putting
American travel on track to reach over 50,000 visitors in
CY2007, a return to pre-bombing levels. The Australian Consul
General told PO that the Australian Government and media were
watching the situation carefully, but the Consulate had received
few inquiries from tourists.

MCCLELLAND

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