Indonesia has another avian flu case

Oct 11, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian officials have reported an H5N1 avian influenza case in a 12-year-old boy in the Jakarta area, raising the country's human case count to 109, according to news services.

The boy is from the Jakarta suburb of Tangerang and is being treated in a Jakarta hospital, said Muhammad Nadirin, a spokesman for the health ministry's avian flu center, according to a Reuters report published today.

Nadirin said it was not clear how the boy was exposed to the virus, but some chickens had died in his neighborhood, according to the story.

Eighty-seven of Indonesia's H5N1 cases have been fatal, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO's global count, which does not yet include the new Indonesian case, stands at 330 cases with 202 deaths.

Meanwhile, five people with suspected avian flu in Indonesia's North Sumatra province tested negative for the H5N1 virus, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report published yesterday. The report quoted a spokesman named Momo at the avian flu information center.

The five were among seven people from the same village who were admitted to a hospital in Medan, the provincial capital, Oct 6, AFP reported. Momo said he had no information on the other two patients.

An earlier report from Antara, Indonesia's national news agency, had said 8 people were hospitalized with suspected avian flu in Medan on Oct 7, including a pregnant woman and a 3-year-old.

In other developments, H5N1 cropped up again in poultry in southern Vietnam this week after a 2-month absence, according to a Reuters report today.

The Agriculture Ministry said ducks from a farm in the Mekong Delta's Tra Vinh province tested positive for the virus, according to Reuters. Testing was done after five birds in an unvaccinated flock of 300 died. The rest of the ducks have since been destroyed by animal-health workers, the story said.

Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat urged veterinary authorities this week to step up poultry vaccinations, Reuters reported. He said avian flu would soon reemerge among unvaccinated birds, especially as the weather cools in northern Vietnam.

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