Indonesia - Six Of Ten
Infected With H5N1 Now Dead

From Patricia Doyle, PhD
Xinhua News Agency
There are 42 reported human cases of avian influenza across Indonesia, but only 10 patients have tested positive, Minister of Health Siti Fadillah Supari said here on Monday (26 Sep 2005).
6 of the 10 people infected with bird flu have died recently, the minister said. Supari said bird flu cases have been reported from at least 8 provinces in the country, with Jakarta having the highest case number of 28.
She made the remarks hours after the death of a 30-year-old housewife during intensive hospital treatment for developing bird flu symptoms, the 6 death [from] avian influenza ever reported in the country.
Latest H5N1 Death Brings Indonesia Toll To Six
By Tomi Soetjipto and Telly Nathalia
JAKARTA, Indonesia (Reuters) -- A 27-year-old Indonesian woman died in a Jakarta hospital on Monday (26 Sep 2005) after suffering from avian influenza, and a 5-year-old girl who died last week was suspected to have carried the disease, officials said on Monday. The disease had already killed 4 people in the sprawling country with the world's 4th [largest] population.
Sardikin Giriputro, deputy head of the hospital designated by the government to treat patients with suspected bird flu, said the woman had been admitted on Thursday. "It's confirmed H5N1," I Nyoman Kandun, who heads disease control at the health ministry, told a news conference, describing the most deadly strain of bird flu.
It was unclear how the woman got the disease, but she had been in contact with chickens that died from an unknown cause. Many urban-area households in Indonesia keep livestock, especially chickens, in their yards. "According to her family, 15 chickens in her home died, but we don't know whether the chickens had died because of bird flu or not," Giriputro had said.
Indonesia's health ministry now puts the death toll from bird flu at 6, because a local test on a 5-year-old girl was positive. By World Health Organization standards however, the final proof rests on the outcome of a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, which in the girl's case showed negative.
Bird flu has killed 65 people in 4 Asian nations since late 2003 and has been found in birds in [European Russia]. The virus has spread to 22 provinces out of 33 in the Indonesian archipelago, killing more than 9.5 million domesticated birds since 2003. Indonesia said this week it would cull poultry in areas where the outbreak was serious.
Giriputro said 5 out of 22 people who had been admitted to the hospital were allowed to go home because they had been found not to have the disease. Experts' greatest fear now is that the H5N1 virus, which has the power to kill one out of every 2 people it infects, could set off a pandemic if it gains the ability to be passed easily among people. While they say the virus could have passed in a few cases from person to person who had very close and sustained contact in the last 2 years, it has yet to mutate into a form which would allow it to do that easily.
Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said on Monday 20 000 doses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu were expected to arrive in Indonesia by Tuesday and a further 20 000 would come by the end of this week. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Canberra will pay for a further 40 000 doses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu for Indonesia, on top of an initial 10 000 doses that Canberra said on Friday it would fund.
(additional reporting by Michelle Nichols)
The number of cases of avian influenza in Indonesia shows signs of escalating, and the situation is causing concern in neighbouring countries as well as throughout the Indonesian archipelago. The Indonesian authorities have identified at least 42 human cases and 6 deaths from avian influenza virus infection. Not all the cases have exhibited signs of disease, and a number of suspected cases have given negative test results. Furthermore, one of the 6 fatal cases has yielded discordant test results. There has been no evidence of person-to-person transmission of infection so far, and it is still presumed that the human cases have contracted infection directly from birds or poultry products. It is difficult to evaluate the true significance of the present situation, as the WHO table of laboratory-confirmed cases of avian influenza in humans in East Asia (last updated on 22 Sep 2005) lists only 3 cases and 2 deaths in Indonesia. It is also not clear how the Indonesian authorities intend to make use of the antiviral drugs that they have solicited and been donated. - Mod.CP
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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