Indonesia reports 2 H5N1 deaths

Editor's note: This story was revised Feb 13 to include a clarification about the number of avian flu cases in Indonesia that have been confirmed by the World Health Organization.

Feb 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia’s health ministry yesterday announced two H5N1 avian influenza deaths, involving a woman and a boy from West Java, according to news services.

The woman, 22, died yesterday morning at Slamet Hospital in Garut, and a 9-year-old boy died in the same hospital later that afternoon, the Jakarta Post reported today. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms their cases and two other cases reported by Indonesian officials last week, the country's official avian flu toll will be 85 cases with 65 deaths.

The woman apparently had contact with dead chickens a week before she died, hospital spokesman Yogi Suprayogi told the Associated Press (AP) yesterday. He said hundreds of chickens had mysteriously died in the woman’s village, Karangpawitan, about 125 miles southeast of Jakarta, in recent days, and four other people from the woman’s village had become ill.

Few details were available about the boy. The Post reported he was referred to Slamet Hospital 2 days ago. His family brought him home from the hospital yesterday morning, but hospital officials persuaded the family to bring him back, the story said.

I Nyoman Kandun, Indonesia’s health minister, told the Post that the two deaths serve as a reminder to keep people and poultry apart. “Other provincial administrations should follow the Jakarta administration in its effort to keep poultry away from people,” he said. Mass culling of birds and backyard poultry was set to begin Feb 1 throughout Jakarta and surrounding areas, but the city has been hit by massive flooding in recent days.

West Java Health Agency Director Yudi Prayudha said 27 people from West Java had been infected with avian flu since last 2005, and 23 of them died.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported another avian flu outbreak in poultry 2 days ago, bringing the total since November 2006 to six. The outbreak occurred at a chicken farm in Ansong city in Kyonggi province, about 50 miles southeast of Seoul, and agriculture officials have confirmed that it is the H5N1 strain, Bloomberg News reported.

In response to the outbreak, agriculture officials ordered the culling of 240,000 birds, including 133,000 chickens, Bloomberg reported. The Korea Times reported today that though the new outbreak is about 30 to 40 miles from two of the recent outbreak sites, authorities think it unlikely that the virus spread from one of the latter sites, the Times reported. Instead, officials suspect it was spread by migratory birds living near the Ansong River.

In Pakistan, government officials confirmed that H5N1 avian flu had been detected in a chicken flock and peacocks at a home in Islamabad, the capital, the AP reported yesterday. It was the third such finding in a week, the AP said. Pakistan had poultry outbreaks in 2006, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), but no human cases have been reported.

See also:

Nov 22, 2006, FAO avian flu bulletin with chart of H5N1 outbreaks by country
http://www.fao.org/docs/eims/upload/217700/aidenews_nov06_no44.pdf

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