Infectious Diseases 2007

Infectious Diseases 2007

Indonesia: Avian influenza infected stray cats roam the streets

Indonesia 16 January, 2007 At least 100 stray cats roaming the streets of major cities in Indonesia are infected with the deadly avian influenza H5N1 virus.
The irony is that when tests were conducted on 500 stray cats in Jakarta, Surabaya, Semarang, Bandung, Tangerang and Lampung, and the 100 were found to be infected, they were all released back onto the streets.
Dr C.A. Nidom, head of Avian Influenza Laboratory at the University of Airlangga, said the tests were conducted on Java Island and in Lampung Province of Sumatra Island from September to December last year.
When asked why the infected felines were released into the streets, he said: "I had no right to destroy them."
He said the stray cats were collected from markets selling chicken and in the vicinity of hospitals designated to treat avian influenza patients.