Indonesia - 72nd Bird Flu
Death Out Of 92 Cases

The People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) -- Initial laboratory tests showed a 23-year old Indonesian woman had died of bird flu, Indonesian Health Ministry said Monday. The health officials were waiting for the result of a 2nd laboratory test for confirmation that she was positive for the avian influenza virus, an official of the Anti-bird flu Center of the Ministry Ahmad Prihatna said.
The woman from Central Jakarta died on Sunday evening, April 1 2007, at the hospital of Persahabatan in East Jakarta, he said. She died at the hospital one hour after being moved from the Islamic Hospital in Central Jakarta, said Prihatna.
Should the 2nd test be positive, she would be the 72nd fatality case out of 92 contracted cases in the country. The official said that it was not clear whether the woman had historical contacts with fowls.
The number of bird flu cases in Indonesia has increased recently after months of absence of new cases. The country has agreed to share its bird flu virus samples with the World Health Organization (WHO) for scientific purpose. Indonesian health authorities have imposed a firm policy of separating fowls from human and surveillance on the viruses. Raising fowls in residential areas is forbidden. But the policy seems not to be working, as authorities in most of the 32 provinces in the country have failed to put it into effect, Indonesian Health Ministry Siti Fadilah Sufari told the Xinhua News Agency.
Officials from the home affair ministry said that lack of funds, human resources, and fluctuating weather were among obstacles to control of the disease.
Experts have warned international community of the risks of the disease should Indonesia fail to prevent the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus from spreading. Millions of people could be killed should the virus mutate into a certain level, which can make it transmittable among humans.
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies
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