Wednesday, August 02, 2006

New Case of Bird Flu in North Sumatra (Indonesia)

With August just beginning, a new case of bird flu has been found in Indonesia. Six people in Tanah Karo regency (about 60 kilometers/37 Miles from Medan), North Sumatra, are suspected to be infected by bird flu virus, although laboratory results will require a few days. This is the second wave of infection in that regency in three months, after eight people died last May by H5N1 virus, popularly named as bird flu.

A report revealed that they got sick with bird flu after their neighbors found that chickens suddenly died near their home and examination of those chickens by veterinary officials tested positive for bird flu.

Most of the patients are children ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years old, and they were first brought to Kabanjahe Hospital at Tanah Karo on Monday night. The hospital’s director has recommended Adam Malik Hospital in Medan to take care of them due to limited facilities on his side, and because Adam Malik Hospital is the only hospital in North Sumatra specializing in bird flu virus.

Instead of moving quickly to get appropriate treatment, several patients remain in Kabanjahe Hospital because their family has no money to pay for bringing them to Adam Malik Hospital in Medan. Only three of them just arrived there last Tuesday after Kabanjahe Hospital provided ambulances to bring them for free, while the rest remain at Kabanjahe Hospital to receive medical treatment.

This raises the risk of the virus spreading because Kabanjahe Hospital is located on Tanah Karo, and lacks necessary facilities for bird flu patients such as quarantine rooms, equipment, or educated nurses.

Three of the patients who are children, Moses Perangin-angin (1.6 years old), Dede Sitepu (6) and Epi br Sitepu (10) have been quarantined to get specific treatment for suspected bird flu after all of them suffered high fever, coughing, and breathlessness. Moses’ condition is the worst of the three.

Source for this avian influenza story

Posted by john T. on 08/02 at 04:17 AM
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