May 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Indonesia reported today that a 45-year-old man from Central Java province died of H5N1 avian influenza, marking the country's second fatal case in less than 2 weeks.
Joko Suyono of the Indonesian health ministry's avian flu center said the man was hospitalized May 17 and died 2 days ago, Reuters reported today.
Investigators, saying dead poultry were found near the man's home, believe he slaughtered and ate a sick chicken, the Reuters report said.
If his case is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), he will be listed as Indonesia's 98th case-patient and its 78th fatality. The latest previous case reported in Indonesia was in a 5-year-old girl who died May 17. The country leads the world in human H5N1 cases and deaths.
On May 16 the WHO announced it would accept H5N1 test results from Indonesia's newly accredited national laboratory. Before that, the agency had refused to confirm any cases reported by Indonesia since late January, because the country had stopped sending viruses to WHO collaborating labs in December.
Meanwhile, the WHO today confirmed China's latest H5N1 case, in a 19-year-old soldier who, according to media reports yesterday, was apparently being treated in a military hospital. China now has had 25 cases, 15 of them fatal.
The patient's H5N1 results were confirmed by China's national laboratory on May 23, a WHO statement said.
Before the soldier got sick, he was serving in Fujian province, the WHO said. He experienced fever and pneumonia-like symptoms on May 9 and was hospitalized May 14.
"There is no initial indication to suggest he had contact with sick birds prior to becoming unwell," the WHO reported, adding that the patient's close contacts are under medical supervision and remain well.