Monday, March 31, 2008

Tick, Tick, Tick | 107 Avian Flu Deaths In Indonesia

Chickens - Experts say the danger is the virus may evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, in which case the transmission rate would soar, causing a pandemic in which millions of people could die. Image Credit: FAO

Tick, Tick, Tick 107 Avian Flu Deaths In Indonesia

This morning, two deaths of adolescent Indonesians help to establish the island(s) nation as the most affected nation on Earth due to the bird flu virus.

One boy and one girl bring the total number of deaths to 107, and it is unclear wither these cases can be traced to “Cluster” human-to-human transfer of the virus even though the boy that just passed away had a brother die from the same disease.

There are still other individuals who have tested positive for the Avian Flu but have yet to succumb to the effects of the H5N1 virus of which there remains no cure.

Indonesia - Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting the H5N1 virus, which is endemic in bird populations in most of Indonesia. According to United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data on March 19, bird flu has infected 31 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia. Image Credit: FAO

This excerpted from Reuters -

Two Indonesian youths die of bird flu

By Mita Valina Liem; Editing by Ed Davies and Alex Richardson Reuters Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:05am EDT

JAKARTA - Two Indonesian youths have died from bird flu, a health ministry official said on Monday.

A 15-year-old boy from Subang, in West Java, died on Wednesday in an area where chickens had died, said Nyoman Kandun, director general of communicable disease control at the ministry.

An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi, east of Jakarta, who died on Friday also tested positive for the virus, the official said.

"There were dead chickens in the boy's neighbourhood, but in the girl's case it is still unclear," Kandun said via a mobile phone text message.
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Earlier on Monday, a 22-month-old girl from Sumatra's Bukit Tinggi tested positive for bird flu and the health ministry was checking her neighbourhood for possible backyard farming.

"Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital," Lily Sulistyowati, a health ministry spokeswoman, said by telephone.

Including the latest deaths, Indonesia has had 132 confirmed cases of the virus.

Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting the H5N1 virus, which is endemic in bird populations in most of Indonesia.

According to United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data on March 19, bird flu has infected 31 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia.

Experts say the danger is the virus may evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, in which case the transmission rate would soar, causing a pandemic in which millions of people could die.
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