Indonesia confirms 84th case of death from bird flu


JAKARTA, AFP

A 28-year-old woman who died on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali has been confirmed as the country’s 84th human bird flu fatality, a health ministry official said Wednesday. A second test indicated that the woman, a chicken vendor who died on Tuesday, was suffering from avian influenza, said Joko Suyono, an official from the health ministry’s bird flu information center.

Two tests must come back positive for H5N1 before a victim is counted as part of the official bird flu death toll in Indonesia, which is the highest in the world.

The first human bird flu death on Bali was confirmed last week and has raised fears of a possible negative impact on tourism, though the affected Jembrana district in the island’s west is far from major tourist centers.

Another man from Jembrana was in hospital under observation after being admitted with bird flu-like symptoms.

Putu Andrika, head of the bird flu control unit at the Sanglah general hospital in Denpasar, the main city in Bali, also said the man had been in contact with dead chickens.

Thousands of birds have been culled since then as a precautionary measure and poultry has been banned from being transported in or out of the district for one month.

The woman who died on Tuesday worked in an area located nearer to several resorts, Suyono said.