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H5N1 Avian Flu - Indonesian Bird Market

July 2008

  • H5N1 Avian Flu - It's one of 16 varieties of avian influenza or bird flu. So far, it's the only one that's shown any ability to directly pass from one human to another. Around 60% of humans known to have been infected with the current Asian strain of H5N1 have died from it, and H5N1 may mutate into a strain capable of efficient human-to-human transmission.
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  • Indonesia is an area of great significance when it comes to the H5N1 flu. It is the country with, as of July 2008, the most case reported (135) and the most deaths (110). While in Indonesia, I visited the bird market in Yogyakarta and was amazed to see so many different species of birds, all collected together in such close quarters with very close contact with a large population of people.
  • Scientists are worried that Avian Flu may become the next worldwide pandemic. Over ten billion dollars have been spent and over two hundred million birds have been killed to try to contain H5N1.
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    Too many birds in very small cages.

    The narrow streets are lines with cages of birds of all species.

    Bird_Market_03

    Bird_Market_04

    A young boy holding pigeons at the market.

    A rooster, destined for the cock fighting ring.

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    A woodpecker for sale.

    Eggs of every variety.