By Tri Satya Putri Naipospos 2nd
May 31, 2006, 07:11
Indonesia apparently now has the unenviable position of being the leader in chicken / bird / avian flu (H5N1) infections and deaths in humans throughout the world; and that is just based on the official infection and death lists which experts know Indonesia has lied about / covered-up over continuously in the past. What is of more concern now however is the number of so called “clustered” cases amongst human victims; that is where several close friends / relatives have become infected with H5N1 when they all appear not to have had contact with infected birds or bird products. Of course no-one who wants the co-operation of the totally irksome and retaliatory Indonesian Authorities uses the term “human-to-human”, in fact they go so far as to say no firm evidence exists to say these clusters are human-to-human, but firm evidence is only possible if you managed to infect someone else with a member of one of these “clusters” under laboratory conditions and that after all is what the term “clustered” substantially implies; there have now been at least 7 human clusters in Indonesia. That is, there is evidence that a epidemic and likely pandemic killer human virus is in its infancy right now in Indonesia.
Of course most people realize there are two levels of human-to-human contagion. The first, which apparently now likely exists in Indonesia, is through close human-to-human contact; transmitted by sharing cutlery, kissing, etc. The second is where the virus can exist substantially outside the human body, such as on the human hand which is the norm for humans contracting a flu virus to become infected; where an infected person sneezes or coughs the virus onto their hand, then they touch something you touch or shake your hand which then becomes infected, then you rub your eyes or nose so the virus can enter your body.
The real problem comes from escalation of mutation. That is where an animal / bird virus can infect humans who come into direct contact with an infected bird or their secretions. It has to go to through first step of human-to-human contagion before it can mutate further and become a true human virus. Many people say the first escalation is harder than the final second escalation, which means what we all fear could happen now any day. Reports that pigs have also become infected in Indonesia gives additional credence to the fear that H5N1 is just about to become a mass human murderer in Indonesia and unless it can be stopped or Indonesia’s borders effectively sealed it to prevent infected humans from leaving, it could kill billions around the world. Of course, if the Indonesian Authorities had not blatantly lied about initial H5N1 infections and then about culls they said they were conducting but were not, and if they had instead asked the International community for assistance, we likely would not be in this frightening position right now. But of course, allegedly to protect the wealthy families who control most of the poultry business in Indonesia and to protect the tourism industry and potential investment, it is a fact the Indonesian Authorities and it seems the presidency itself deliberately lied to the world as they are probably lying now as to the true extent of the problem.
It therefore seems a crazy risk for foreign governments to still allow their citizens to travel to the archipelago of hate and deception all in the name of International “diplomacy” (contracts). Apart from being aggressive in trying to actually help the Indonesians prevent this becoming the world’s greatest ever human disaster, we believe all foreigners should be prevented from going to Indonesia and those already there a) warned of the risks and b) repatriated after a quarantine period to make sure they do not bring this killer into their home country. Then we believe Indonesia's borders should be sealed off from the outside in, until the disease is bought under control. Unlike our amazement at the Australian Government apparently pouring its tax payers money down what we believe is a corrupt drain (see article about: John Howard), we would support International aid to Indonesia if its borders had to be closed, as we think the time has now come.
Holiday makers / businesspeople; think twice about getting on a plane bound for Bali / Indonesia. Foreigners already in Bali; don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Read up about other killer flu pandemics in the past such as “Spanish Flu” and how the virus mutates, how it infects a human body (it penetrates the first inner layer / wall of your lungs causing your immune system to attack your own tissues which then excrete mucus which slowly chokes you to death) and extremely painful human symptoms (you can not breath and your face turns blue with lack of oxygen) which leads to eventual death in 75% of human infections; understand how inaction caught the world out before. If you would not trust an Indonesian civil servant to hold your wallet for you while you tied your shoelaces or a pro-government Indonesian news reader to tell you the time honestly, why trust them when it comes to this? Although foreign governments and health agencies are still playing that old fiddle to dance this tune according to Jakarta’s rules, don’t think for one moment they won’t close Indonesia’s borders from the outside if the situation worsens and possibly leave you stranded in a country unable to control their own epidemic.