Avian influenza in the South-East Asia Region
To date, the total number of human influenza A(H5N1) cases reported in Indonesia since the beginning of 2005 till December 2012 is 192 with 160 fatalities, 9 (all fatal) of which occurred in 2012. However, it is also noteworthy that this case is the only human AI case reported in the SEA Region in the past 6 months, which may indicate that the downward year-by-year trend in human AI cases in the Region is set to continue.
On 10th August, the Ministry of Health of Indonesia notified WHO of a new case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus. The case was a 37 year old male from Yogyakarta province who developed fever on 24 July 2012, was hospitalized on 27 July and died on 30 July. Epidemiological investigation on the case found that the case had four pet caged birds in his home, which is about 50 metres from a poultry slaughter house and near a farm. Infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus was confirmed by the National Institute of Health Research and Development (NIHRD), Ministry of Health and reported to WHO by the National IHR Focal Point.
It is now almost nine years since the first human cases of Avian Influenza H5N1 in the current epizootic were reported and WHO has also decided to change the way it reports these cases. From now on, WHO will no longer publish information on every single case, but will report in two ways, 1.] on a monthly basis on the main influenza webpage and 2.] whenever there is an event that is considered to be unusual or associated with potential increased risks. However, Member States will be continue to be required to report information on every sporadic case of H5N1 human infection or novel influenza virus infection to WHO as per Article 6 of the International Health Regulations (2005).
Evolution of H5N1 avian influenza virus does not increase risk to public health
30 August 2011 -- WHO closely monitors the evolution of influenza viruses and is aware of recent reports of an H5N1 virus (described as H5N1 clade 188.8.131.52) circulating in poultry in parts of Asia. Based on available information, this evolution of the H5N1 virus poses no increased risk to public health. It is not considered unusual because influenza viruses are constantly evolving, especially in areas where they circulate regularly in poultry.