Indonesia reports 2 avian flu cases

Jan 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Two Indonesians have been hospitalized in less than a week with H5N1 avian influenza infections, the country’s first in more than a month, according to news services.

Indonesia’s health ministry told Bloomberg News yesterday that a 14-year-old boy who tested positive for the H5N1 virus was being treated at Persahabatan Hospital in Jakarta after showing flulike symptoms on Jan 1.

Muhammad Nadirin, an official at the health ministry’s avian flu information center, told Bloomberg the ministry received a report that the boy had had contact with a dead duck. The ministry launched in investigation in the boy’s west Jakarta neighborhood, Nadirin said.

A 37-year-old woman is also being treated at Persahabatan Hospital and is from the same area—Tangerang on Jakarta's western outskirts—as the 14-year-old boy, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. I Nyoman Kandun, the health ministry’s director of communicable disease control, told the AP that the woman was in critical condition and the health ministry is still trying to identify the source of her infection.

If the two cases are confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), they will be the 75th and 76th human infections recorded in Indonesia. The latest previous case was that of a 35-year-old woman who died Nov 28.

The Jakarta Post reported today that the H5N1 virus is suspected in 6 other patients who are awaiting test results.

Indonesia has the most avian flu deaths of any country, 57 recorded by the WHO, but Vietnam still has the most cases with 93.

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