Monday, March 31, 2008
Two Indonesian youths die of bird flu
JAKARTA, March 31 (Reuters) - Two Indonesian youths have died from bird flu, a health ministry official said on Monday, taking the confirmed death toll in the country worst affected by the virus to 107.
A 15-year-old boy from Subang, in West Java, died on Wednesday in an area where chickens had died, said Nyoman Kandun, director general of communicable disease control at the ministry.
An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi, east of Jakarta, who died on Friday also tested positive for the virus, the official said.
“There were dead chickens in the boy’s neighborhood, but in the girl’s case it is still unclear,” Kandun said via a mobile phone text message.
Kandun dismissed the possibility of more bird flu cases in the same family after the boy’s brother died recently. Confirmed cluster cases raise concerns over human-to-human transmission.
“It is not correct that there is a cluster in Subang,” Kandun said, adding that the brother has died of dengue fever.
Earlier on Monday, a 22-month-old girl from Sumatra’s Bukit Tinggi tested positive for bird flu and the health ministry was checking her neighborhood for possible backyard farming.
“Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital,” Lily Sulistyowati, a health ministry spokeswoman, said by telephone.
Bird flu story source: Reuters