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Ciptapangan Visitor
Bird-Flu Tests on Indonesians Are Negative
posted by admin on 04/08/06

At least six Indonesians from the same area of Sumatra island had bird flu have tested negative for the virus

August 4, 2006

MEDAN, Indonesia -- At least six Indonesians from the same area of Sumatra island who were hospitalized amid fears they had bird flu have tested negative for the virus, and their conditions are improving, officials said Thursday.

Specimens from the patients all came back negative for the H5N1 virus in local tests, said Nyoman Kandun, a Health Ministry official.

Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari told reporters the samples were tested twice and will undergo one more analysis. She didn't mention a seventh suspected case in the district that health officials had referred to a day earlier.

The patients -- from two families -- were treated as suspected bird-flu cases because they lived in an area where there was infected poultry. They developed coughs and light fevers, and officials had feared the formation of two new H5N1-virus clusters.

Indonesia has had 42 human deaths from the H5N1 virus since July 2005. At least 134 people have died world-wide since the disease began spreading in late 2003.

Meanwhile, on the Indonesian island of Bali, about 340 backyard chickens were found infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

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