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Indonesian boy dies of bird flu, official says
posted by admin on 25/09/06
The boy, a resident of Ciputat Raya in South Jakarta
JAKARTA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - A nine-year-old Indonesian boy has died of bird flu, an official of the health ministry's bird flu information centre said on Sunday, taking the country's death toll from the disease to 51.
The boy died on Friday at a hospital in Jakarta, Runizar Ruesin, the head of the centre, told Reuters by phone.
"The result came out this morning. It has been confirmed positive," he said.
The boy, a resident of Ciputat Raya in South Jakarta, had suffered from fever, cough, runny nose and pneumonia after he began to get sick on Sept. 13, Ruesin said.
The boy was said to have had contact with a sick bird. Most human cases are known to have followed such contacts.
His death comes after the health ministry said on Friday that bird flu killed an 11-year-old boy from East Java province. The boy died last week after chickens died around his house. The ministry said it was sending a team to investigate the case.
Indonesia has the highest bird flu death toll of any nation. Not including the deaths of the two boys, the H5N1 avian flu virus has killed 144 people worldwide, the World Health Organisation says.
The virus mainly affects birds but experts fear it could mutate into a strain capable of killing millions of people in a global pandemic.
Indonesia has been criticised for not doing enough to combat the disease, endemic in birds in most of the provinces in the archipelago of 17,000 islands, the world's largest. The United Nations bird flu coordinator, David Nabarro, said this month that Indonesia had made progress in its fight against bird flu.
But he expressed disappointment at the slow flow of funds pledged by international donors to Indonesia for the effort.
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