Indonesia reports its first H5N1 death of 2008

Jan 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An official from Indonesia's health ministry said today that a 32-year-old woman who lived near Jakarta died of H5N1 avian influenza, according to news reports.

Suharda Ningrum, of the health ministry's bird flu center, said the woman, who was from Tangerang on the western outskirts of Jakarta, died at her home on Jan 10, a day after her family took her out of the hospital, Reuters reported today. If the woman's illness and death are confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), she will be listed as the country's 118th case-patient and its 95th fatality from H5N1.

The woman's samples were sent for testing to two different laboratories, and both confirmed that the woman had the H5N1 virus, the Reuters report said.

She had recently purchased a live chicken and eggs from a market and cooked them, Ningrum said. Also, he said poultry were living in the woman's back yard.

Several of Indonesia's H5N1 case-patients were from Jakarta suburbs. In early 2007 Indonesia banned backyard poultry in Jakarta and announced a widespread culling plan. However, it appears the ban has been difficult to enforce, and officials in some suburbs of Jakarta have said the ban and culling are unrealistic and too costly.

The 16-year-old girl confirmed by the WHO on Jan 11 as Indonesia's most recent H5N1 case-patient is also from a suburban area near Jakarta and reportedly had chickens in her neighborhood, according to previous reports. An official at the hospital where the girl is being treated said her condition was stable but she was still on a respirator, according to today's Reuters report.

See also:

Jan 19, 2007, CIDRAP News story "Asian countries struggle to contain avian flu"

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