Jakarta, Indonesia, January 28, 2007—
A rooster looks on as a man prepares a pit for burning slaughtered birds in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Indonesian government recently declared that all domestic chickens, pigeons, and ducks should be culled to halt the spread of the avian influenza virus
Jakarta officials estimate the toll of voluntarily slaughtered birds at about a hundred thousand so far, but efforts have been hampered by residents hiding their fowl or bribing health officials to let them keep the birds.
About 164 people worldwide, including 63 Indonesians, have died since 2004 from bird flu. So far the virus that causes the disease, H5N1, has not mutated to allow easy human-to-human transmission. But world health officials fear such a development, which could trigger a deadly global pandemic, is possible. The Indonesian government has said it will soon declare a state of emergency to combat the virus.
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Photograph by Supri Supri/Reuters