Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Indonesia confirms 92nd bird flu death

JAKARTA (AFP) — A 28-year-old woman from the outskirts of the Indonesian capital has been confirmed as dying of bird flu, raising the toll in the nation worst affected by H5N1 to 92, the health ministry said Tuesday.

Two laboratory tests on the woman, who died on Monday at a hospital in Jakarta, showed that she was infected with the highly pathogenic virus, a statement from the ministry’s bird flu information center said.

Two positive results of tests on blood and tissue samples from a victim are needed before Indonesian authorities confirm a bird flu infection.

Muhammad Nadhirin, an official at the center, said that a team of five experts had been dispatched on Monday to the victim’s neighbourhood.

The team said that “the source of infection could be from poultry 100 meters (yards) away from the victim’s house, but we’re waiting for test results on whether the poultry is infected with the virus,” Nadhirin told AFP.

He said the victim, who had sold ornamental plants, bought plant fertilizer from the neighbor which may have been contaminated by the feces of infected birds. No birds however had died in the area in the past six months and the poultry appeared healthy, he added.

The victim, named Mutiah, lived in the satellite city of Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, where three other bird flu deaths have been reported since October.

Confirmation of the latest death comes as some 10,000 international visitors attend a UN climate change summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, some 970 kilometers (600 miles) away from Jakarta.

Bird flu story source: AFP

Posted by john T. on 12/11 at 02:55 PM
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