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Indonesian Girl Is Latest Fatality Traced to Bird Flu
posted by admin on 07/07/06

Indonesia's death toll from bird flu would rise to 42

July 7, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A three-year-old girl who died near the Indonesian capital was suffering from the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the Health Ministry said Thursday, citing local tests.

If confirmed by a World Health Organization-sanctioned test, Indonesia's death toll from bird flu would rise to 42 -- matching the 42 deaths in Vietnam, the most of any other country.

The WHO lists 40 fatalities for Indonesia, though the agency often takes a few days to update figures.

Nyoman Kandun, an Indonesian Health Ministry official, said the latest victim died in Cisauk village southwest of Jakarta.

"Local tests showed she was positively infected with the H5N1" strain of the bird-flu virus, Mr. Kandun said, saying the girl had reportedly had contact with birds. He didn't provide more details.

The ministry's special task force for bird flu said they believed she died at a Jakarta hospital Thursday.

Indonesia has been criticized for not routinely culling fowl in infected areas to stop spreading of the disease, but the government says it doesn't have enough money to compensate farmers. Vietnam hasn't recorded any cases this year amid an aggressive culling policy.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

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