Hong Kong targets Indonesians in new bird flu warning

HONG KONG (AFP) - Health chiefs targeted Indonesian workers in Hong Kong Sunday in a renewed campaign to warn the public about the dangers of bird flu.

The 100,000-strong Indonesian community, many of them maids, was the focus of leaflets distributed throughout the city after a cluster of infections was revealed in Indonesia last week.

The leaflets are entitled "Avian Flu Fact Sheet" and "What you need to know to prepare for an influenza pandemic: Tips for Foreign Domestic Helpers". They alert migrant workers to the risks of the disease that has killed more than 120 people worldwide, including 35 in Indonesia.

Fears of possible human-to-human transmission of avian influenza were heightened last week after it was confirmed that seven members of the same family died in Indonesia┬┤s North Sumatra earlier this month from the virus.

World Health Organisation experts said there may have been limited human-to-human transmission but insisted the virus had not mutated into a more easily transmissible form.

Hong Kong was the scene of the world┬┤s first reported major bird flu outbreak among humans in 1997, when six people died.