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Bird Flu May Be Cause of Death Of Indonesia Girl
posted by admin on 16/08/06

An Indonesian girl died of suspected bird flu yesterday

August 16, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- An Indonesian girl died of suspected bird flu yesterday, a hospital official said.

If laboratory-test results for the 9-year-old girl come back positive, she will be the 45th Indonesian to die from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, said Wijayanti, a vice director of Slamet hospital in West Java province who, like many Indonesians, uses one name.

The girl -- whose 17-year-old neighbor was sickened by the disease -- came from Cikelet village, about 150 kilometers southeast of Jakarta. Another boy in the village died before tests could be taken.

Dr. Wijayanti said the girl was admitted to Slamet's emergency unit Monday with high fever and respiratory problems and died the next day.

"Her condition was very bad when she arrived," Dr. Wijayanti said. "She was unconscious and having difficulty breathing."

Eka Sony, a health official who investigated the spread of bird flu in Cikelet, believed victims caught the disease from sick poultry.

Dr. Sony said chickens died suddenly last month, and their carcasses were spread around the village by wild dogs.

The H5N1 virus has killed at least 139 people world-wide since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003, with Indonesia tallying the highest toll, according to the World Health Organization.

Most human cases have been traced to contact with infected birds, but experts fear the virus -- which remains difficult for humans to catch -- will mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a global pandemic.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

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