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September 27, 2005

Confusing Reports from Indonesia

Readers dismayed with the seeming confusion coming out of Jakarta should be alarmed. In recent days we have heard of confirmed cases and deaths due to the H5N1 virus and later official denials. It appears that there is no trustworthy source of information in the country.

We will continue to reblog conflicting information while trying to seek out the most reliable reports. The worst thing that can happen in a developing pandemic situation is a tacit censorship on the part of interests within the government.

Indonesia has a large tourist industry that is still in the process of recovering from the bombing that took place several years ago. It's possible to imagine that the tourist industry, a major source of foreign currency, is instrumental in suppressing critical information. We can also suspect that confusion will always be a component of any outbreak, no matter the efficiency of the authorities.

Let's hope that the news out of Singapore of a quick (easy to use?) diagnosis kit stands up to scrutiny. Quick and certain diagnosis can make all the difference in an outbreak. Used efficiently, it can greatly decrease confusion on the ground.

Posted by dymaxion at September 27, 2005 12:31 PM

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