Friday, August 17, 2007

Indonesia : 17 Year Old Dies Of Bird Flu

Victim Had 'No Contact With Infected Chickens'

According this story, a 17 year old Indonesian girl who died from the bird flu virus had no contact with chickens, or H5N1 infected poultry :
The 17-year-old maid from Tangerang west of Jakarta died on Tuesday after falling ill with a high fever last week, Joko Suyono of the ministry's bird flu centre said by telephone.

The most common way for humans to become infected with the H5N1 virus is through contact with sick fowl, but officials were still investigating how she contracted the disease.

"There were no fowl in the neighbourhood. The family doesn't keep any and she had no direct contact with chickens..."

Indonesia has had 104 confirmed human cases from bird flu out of which 83 had been fatal, the highest death toll for any country in the world.

Experts fear if the virus develops the ability to pass easily between humans, millions might die in a pandemic

The World Health Organisation, and the majority of media reports covering the 200 odd official deaths attributed to the bird flu virus usually cite contact with H5N1 infected poultry as the main source for contracting the virus.

At the moment, it's a mystery how the teenager became infected.

The 17 year old's death is the third human death in Indonesia attributed to the bird flu virus in the past eight days. On the weekend, news broke that a mother and daughter, in Bali, both died from the virus.

You can read a report on the Bali deaths here.

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