WHO: H5N1 killed mother of Indonesia's latest case-patient

Mar 25, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported new details about an Indonesian toddler who is recovering from H5N1 avian flu, including that her mother died from the virus a day before the girl got sick.

Indonesia's health ministry first announced the girl's H5N1 infection on a government Web site a few days ago, according to a translated version of the statement posted by Bird Flu Information Corner (BFIC) on Mar 23. The notice didn't cite the mother's H5N1 infection or death.

BFIC is a Web message board operated by Kobe University in Japan and Airlangga University in Indonesia. It includes English translations of reports on avian influenza from various Indonesian and global sources, including the foreign-language news media.

Today's WHO confirmation said the 2-year-old girl from Bekasi City in West Java province became ill on Mar 2, was admitted to a healthcare facility the next day, and was referred to a hospital on Mar 9. She has fully recovered from her H5N1 infection, according to the WHO. Confirmation of her illness raises Indonesia's H5N1 case total to 175, of which 144 were fatal.

The WHO said in the same statement that the girl's mother is the case-patient described in its Mar 14 statement. The 31-year-old woman, from Bekasi City, West Java province, got sick on Feb 23 and died on Mar 1 after in-patient treatment at a private clinic and a hospital where she received oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

The girl accompanied her mother to a traditional market that sold live poultry, but investigators are still exploring the source of the two infections. The earlier report from Indonesia's health ministry said ornamental birds were reared in the girl's neighborhood and that some had recently tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

So far this year Indonesia has reported 4 H5N1 cases, of which 3 were fatal, according to WHO records. Indonesia is among a handful of countries where the virus is endemic, and local media have recently reported several H5N1 outbreaks in the country, including a recent one on the island of Bali.

Indonesia's latest H5N1 case pushes the WHO's global total for the disease to 535, including 316 deaths.

See also:

Mar 25 WHO statement

Mar 14 WHO statement

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