Indonesian boy dies of avian flu; Japan confirms H5N1 in swans

Apr 29, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia today reported that a 3-year-old boy died last week of an H5N1 influenza infection, as Japan confirmed that the virus found recently in four wild swans was H5N1, according to news agencies.

Lili Sulistyowati of the Indonesian health ministry said the 3-year-old was from Manyaran village in Central Java and died April 23 after a respiratory illness, according to a Reuters report today.

Several chickens with which the boy had contact had died suddenly, Sulistyowati reported.

If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the boy's case, the WHO's H5N1 count for Indonesia will increase to 133 cases with 108 deaths. The WHO's current global H5N1 count is 381 cases with 240 deaths.

In Japan, government officials said four dead and dying swans found near Lake Towada in the northeast had the deadly strain of H5N1, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. Previous reports said the swans had an H5 virus; the National Institute of Animal Health confirmed the presence of H5N1 in further testing, the story said.

Authorities in Akita prefecture plan to spend the next 2 days inspecting 15 farms within a 30-kilometer radius of where the swans were found, the AP reported.

The swan findings come after a series of H5N1 outbreaks on poultry farms in neighboring South Korea. Japan's last reported H5N1 outbreaks occurred in early 2007 on the southern island of Kyushu.

Meanwhile, South Korea has reported a new suspected H5N1 outbreak, this one on a chicken farm in Ulsan City in the country's southeast, according to an Australian Broadcasting Corp. report today. Recent confirmed outbreaks have been in southwestern Korea.

In other developments, an avian flu virus was found on a chicken farm in Denmark, but initial tests showed it was not the deadly form of H5N1, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported yesterday.

Danish veterinary officials said the outbreak was in Stenstrop on the island of Fyn, according to Xinhua. About 2,000 chickens on the farm were to be culled.

See also:

Apr 29 Japanese report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on swan cases
http://www.oie.int/wahid-prod/public.php?page=single_report&pop=1&reportid=7003

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