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WHO tests confirm three-year-old Indonesian girl died of avian flu
posted by admin on 17/07/06

Most human cases of bird flu have been linked to contact with infected chickens

Friday,  July  14, 2006

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -International tests confirmed the death of a 3-year-old girl from avian flu, bringing the number of people killed by the disease in Indonesia to at least 41, a health official said Friday.

The toddler, from Cisauk village southwest of the capital, died in a Jakarta hospital July 6, said Nyoman Kandun, a senior health ministry official. She apparently had been in contact with infected poultry, Kandun said.

A World Health Organization-recognized laboratory in Atlanta confirmed she had the H5N1 virus that has ravaged poultry stocks across Asia since 2003, jumping to humans and killing at least 131 people worldwide.

Indonesia is logging new human cases faster than any other country and trails only Vietnam, where 42 people have died.

The cash-strapped government has been criticized for not routinely culling fowl in infected areas, seen as the best way to stop the H5N1 virus from spreading. It says it cannot afford to compensate farmers across the sprawling archipelago.

Most human cases of bird flu have been linked to contact with infected chickens. But experts fear the H5N1 virus could eventually mutate into a highly contagious form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.

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