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Indonesian Boy Tests Positive For Bird Flu, Local Officials Say
posted by admin on 08/08/06

The death brings Indonesia's human bird flu tally to 43

August 7, 2006 12:39 p.m.

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesia became the nation hardest hit by bird flu as a 16-year-old boy died late Monday after testing positive for the virus, health officials said.

Additional tests are needed to confirm the result, but normally reliable tests at a local laboratory showed that a the boy had the virus, said Dr. Santoso Suroso, the director of Jakarta's infectious diseases hospital.

The death brings Indonesia's human bird flu tally to 43, nearly a third of which have occurred over the last year. Neighboring Vietnam is the second worst hit at 42, but it hasn't recorded any new deaths this year.

The boy had been receiving treatment at a local hospital, but was moved to a national hospital on Saturday, said Mr. Ningrum, an official with the ministry's bird-flu center. Blood samples would be sent to a World Health Organization-recognized laboratory in Atlanta for secondary testing.

The bird-flu situation in the vast archipelago grabbed world attention in May, when seven members of a single family died of the virus -- the largest recorded cluster to date. The WHO concluded that limited human-to-human transmission likely occurred, but the virus didn't spread beyond the blood family members.

Authorities fear the virus could mutate to become more easily passable between people and cause a world-wide pandemic.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

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