The swine flu scare, H1N1, effects on tourism and industries, and whether it is manmade.
A new mongrel variant of the swine influenza virus, similar to Spanish Flu, (influenza A subtype H1N1) that has struck Mexico and now spread to the United States and many other countries has Indonesia preparing for its possible arrival.
Real time map of swine flu cases.
Key - Pink markers are suspect. Purple markers are confirmed or probable. Deaths have no dot in marker. Yellow markers are negative.
In general the reaction has been calm. Health minster Siti Fadilah Supari says the fatality rate for H1N1 is only 6%, compared to 80-90% for H5N1, or bird flu. Nevertheless she says 80 hospitals in the country have prepared special facilities to deal with any outbreak.
Siti Fadilah Supari
Ever suspicious Siti Fadilah Supari said there was a chance swine flu was man-made:
I'm not sure whether the virus was genetically engineered but it's a possibility
H1N1 survives in countries with four seasons. The type A H1N1 virus hopefully won't be able to sustain itself once it enters the tropical climate of Indonesia.
We have to watch the airports, especially flights originating from Mexico, United States, and other pig flu affected countries.
While in Bali tourism authorities pleaded with the national government to not impose any hasty travel bans. Ngurah Wijaya of the Bali Tourism Board said surveillance at airports was sufficient for now. Visitor arrivals to the island were still normal, at 2,500 to 3,000 per day, said Ida Bagus Subhiksu of the Tourism Department. detik
Farmers, Pigs & Pork
Drh Sigit Hanggono of the East Java Livestock Office (Dinas Peternakan (Disnak)) said he was worried the livestock industry would be harmed by the swine flu issue, and that the matter was overblown. jakartapress
Of the same department but in North Sumatra Drh Hj Teti Lubis said Disnak would try to educate the public about swine flu, so as to minimise the risk that irresponsible people would cause trouble for pig farmers and consumers of pork, considering that the disease was passed person to person, not via contact with pigs or pork. beritasore
Indonesia is a large exporter of pork, mainly to Singapore, but as of writing no bans have been placed on this trade by partner countries. Indonesia has however banned the import of pork, however this trade is small.