Nov 13, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Two new human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, one of them fatal, were reported in Indonesia today, raising the country's toll to 74 cases with 56 deaths.
A 30-month-old boy from Karawang in West Java province died of the illness today, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported, citing information from the Indonesian health ministry. The boy became ill Nov 5 and was hospitalized Nov 10.
An initial investigation turned up reports of chicken deaths near the boy's home in the days before he got sick, the WHO said.
The other new case is in a 35-year-old woman from Tangerang in Banten province, also on Java, the WHO said. Her illness began Nov 7, and she has been hospitalized since Nov 10. Officials are trying to learn how she was exposed to the virus, the WHO said.
An official from Indonesia's avian flu information center said the boy had been in contact with poultry but could not say whether the same was true of the woman, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published today.
AFP said the woman is being treated at Jakarta's Sulianti Saroso hospital.
The two H5N1 cases are the first reported in Indonesia since Oct 16, when the WHO reported three fatal cases, all on Java. The two illnesses have increased the WHO's global avian flu tally to 258 cases with 153 deaths. Indonesia has the most deaths of any country, but Vietnam still has the most cases with 93.
Nov 13 WHO update