23-year-old Indonesian man dies from avian flu

Oct 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 23-year-old Indonesian man who kept birds has died from avian influenza, officials there said today, marking the seventh death they attribute to the H5N1 virus.

Slamet Wibowo died on Thursday, according to a story by Agence France-Presse (AFP) today. He was referred to Sulianti Saroso hospital for infectious diseases in Jakarta from a private hospital in Cibinong, according to Ilham Patu, a hospital spokesman.

Clinical and blood tests indicated Wibowo had the H5N1 virus, Patu said, although authorities are awaiting test results on tissue and blood samples that have been sent to a World Health Organization (WHO) lab in Hong Kong.

He had direct contact with birds and poultry, officials said.

Blood tests on an elderly man who died from a suspected case of avian flu at the same hospital as Wibowo were negative for H5N1.

Case counts vary. Wibowo's death represents the 8th case of avian flu in Indonesia and the 6th death, based on CIDRAP's analysis of news reports. The WHO currently recognizes 4 cases, with 3 deaths.

Indonesian officials today raised the number of suspected human cases from 60 to 85, AFP reported. However, only 3 Indonesians' deaths have been confirmed by WHO labs. Tests for three others are pending.

Reuters news service reported yesterday that local tests on a young man hospitalized at an avian flu–designated hospital on Sumatra were positive for H5N1 but that samples had been sent to the Hong Kong lab for further testing. It's not clear if his samples are among the three described by the AFP.

Suspected human cases have come from nine of Indonesia's 33 provinces, Reuters reported.

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