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WHO confirms two suspected bird flu deaths JAKARTA - Indonesia has had two more deaths from the H5N1 strain of bird flu confirmed by a laboratory in Hong Kong, bringing the total to seven in the country, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. Hariadi Wibisono, a senior official from the ministry, said the tests were from a 20-year-old woman who died last weekend and a 16-year-old girl who died last week. Both victims, who died in Jakarta, had contact with dead chickens, he said.

"We received the test results this morning and both victims were positive for bird flu," Wibisono told Reuters. He said that took total confirmed deaths to seven, with four positive cases where patients survived. The highly pathogenic H5N1 strain is endemic in poultry in parts of Asia, where it is known to have killed more than 60 people. But experts fear H5N1 could mutate into a form that passes easily among people, just like human influenza. If it does, millions could die because they would have no immunity.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry said it would more than double to 100 the number of hospitals designated to treat bird flu patients across the world's fourth most populous country. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has made fighting bird flu one of the government's top priorities. On Monday he outlined measures to tackle the virus that included seeking licenses to make anti-viral drugs as well as reviewing the budget to see if more funds could be allocated.

But the government has largely resisted calls to mass cull chickens, saying it did not have the money to compensate owners. Most human bird flu cases in Asia have been blamed on direct or indirect contact with infected chickens.


Link to related event Related event:
Bird flu in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu') Related blog entries (category 'Bird Flu'):
16 November 2005 · Indonesia to double number of hospitals for bird flu
15 November 2005 · EU says Indonesia needs help to fight bird flu
14 November 2005 · SBY puts bird flu death toll at 7
13 November 2005 · 20-year old woman may be next bird flu victim
09 November 2005 · Test shows new bird flu death in Indonesia


Posted in Bird Flu @ 17 November 2005 07:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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