Sep 22, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Indonesian health ministry reported the country's 66th H5N1 avian influenza case and 50th death today, this one in an 11-year-old boy who died Sep 18, according to several media reports.
Runizar Ruesin, head of Indonesia's bird flu information center, told Reuters the boy died at a hospital in Tulungagung in East Java province. An Associated Press report said the boy died 2 days after getting sick and just hours after he was admitted to the hospital
Tests by two local laboratories confirmed that he had H5N1 avian influenza, Ruesin said.
Indonesia has the most avian flu deaths of any country, but its case count is below Vietnam's 93 cases. All of Indonesia's cases have occurred since July 2005. The World Health Organization (WHO) had not yet recognized the new case at this writing.
The boy had contact with dead chickens, which died in his house, Ruesin told Reuters. He said the health ministry would send investigators to the area where the boy lived. Ruesin told Bloomberg News today that authorities are testing the boy's relatives and monitoring close contacts.
The boy's death marks the second avian flu fatality in the Tulungagung district in recent months. A 5-year-old boy from the district died Jun 16, according to the WHO.
Jul 4 WHO statement on previous case in Tulungagung district