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Ciptapangan Visitor
An Indonesian Family Infected by Bird Flu
posted by admin on 28/09/06

Jakarta, Komnas FPBI -- The Health Ministry of Indonesia confirmed today that a 20-year-old man in Bandung, West Java, has H5N1 avian influenza.

 The man is currently being treated in Hasan Sadikin Hospital in Bandung. This is the 68th and most recent confirmed human case of avian influenza in Indonesia.

According to ministry officials, the man's 15-year-old sister is also in hospital with suspected avian influenza. Specimens from the girl are now being tested at the Ministry of Health National Research and Development Laboratory, also known as Litbangkes. The results are expected later this week. Both the man and his sister are being treated with the anti-viral drug oseltamivir.

A third sibling from the same family, a 24-year-old man, died on Sunday, though the cause of his death has not been confirmed.

The Health Ministry says the Bandung Health Agency is also seeking specimens from other relatives of the confirmed case. The Agriculture Ministry's Avian Influenza Campaign Management Unit is waiting for laboratory results of specimens taken from local poultry to determine if they are infected with H5N1. Limited culling of poultry is taking place as a precautionary measure pending laboratory results.

Officials suspect that the case occurred due to dead chickens that were being brought by one of the siblings to the family's home.

''We encourage everyone to increase awareness and knowledge about avian influenza to protect them from being infected by the deadly virus. And that's why we think our public awareness campaign is very important,'' said Komnas FBPI chief executive officer Bayu Krisnamurti.

A national bird-flu public awareness campaign was launched on 1 September to tell every Indonesian about effective steps they can take to reduce the risk of contracting the H5N1 virus.

Meanwhile, in Pondok Pinang, South Jakarta, chickens are being culled and chicken coops are being sprayed with disinfectant in following the death of a local boy from avian influenza last week.

The 9-year-old boy, a resident of Pondok Pinang, died of H5N1 infection on September 22. The case was announced by the Ministry of Health yesterday.

An integrated government team, consisting of officials from the Health and Agriculture Ministries, the Jakarta Husbandry, Fishery and Marine Agency, as well as the Jakarta Health Agency, has taken sample specimens from poultry living nearby the boy's home. The specimens are now being tested at the Agriculture Ministry's animal health laboratory in Bogor, West Java. The results are expected to come out later this week.

Some close contacts of the boy are being administered the anti-viral drug oseltamivir. Specimens from the close contacts have also been sent for testing.

In Tulung Agung, East Java, where an 11-year-old boy died of avian influenza on 18 September, a provincial response team has found poultry infected with the H5N1 virus. As of Tuesday, the team had culled over 500 chickens as part of the effort to contain the virus.

The Health Ministry and the local Health Agency have also taken some specimens of relatives of the 11-year-old boy and people living in the area who have shown flu-like symptoms.

In Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, investigators are also waiting for the test results of specimen swabs taken from five other suspect cases, all of them members of the same family. The family is being treated at Adam Malik Hospital in Medan, one of the country's 44 hospitals designated as bird flu treatment centers. According to the Ministry of Health, the patients have experienced high fever and flu-like symptoms. They are being administered oseltamivir. The condition of two members of the family is improving.

Although the Deli Serdang cases have not been confirmed, district animal-health surveillance and control teams are investigating for possible sources of infection and are culling local chickens.

H5N1 is a highly pathogenic virus and it has infected poultry in 30 of the country's 33 provinces.

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