Ni Luh Putu Sri Windiani, a 29 year old Indonesian woman and her five-year-old daughter Dian have died of bird flu, on the tourist island of Bali, a Health Ministry official confirmed today, bringing the nation’s toll to 83.
The latest Bird-Flu related deaths could be a problem for Bali, the last remaining Hindu region of Indonesia, which is the most popular tourist venue in the country.
Indonesia’s National Bird Flu Control Committee confirmed that 29-year-old Ni Luh Putu Sri Windani, who died in Bali’s Sanglah hospital in Denpasar late on Sunday, was positive to bird flu.
The 29-year-old woman from the northwest of the island, far from the major tourist centres, died on Sunday, while her daughter died on August 3, said Bayu Krisnamurti, head of Indonesia’s national bird flu commission.
“Both people are positive, from (tests at) the Eikman Institute and the health ministry’s lab,” he told a press briefing.
She was brought to the hospital three days earlier suffering pneumonia-like symptoms.
Her five-year-old daughter Dian, died on August 3 at a local hospital with similar symptoms.
However, her death was not linked to to bird flu and no tests were done.
It was only when the mother died from confirmed H5N1 that the authorities decided to re examine the cause of death for the daughter.
Obviously, this raises suspicions that there could well be many similar unreported deaths from the Bird-flu virus in Indonesia.
Chickens owned by a neighbour of the dead woman had previously died and have tested positive to the virus.
A two-year-old girl called Kadek Putria, a neighbour of the victims, is under observation in Sanglah Hospital with similar symptoms.
Officials said the Balinese bird flu victim came from a village in the north-west district of Jembrana, an area where poultry are known to be affected.
Health official Joko Suyono said there had been sick chickens around the woman’s house and many had died suddenly in recent weeks.
“The villagers didn’t burn the carcasses. Instead they buried them or fed them to pigs,” he said.
Kadek Putri, 2, with her mother in Sanglah Hospital,
Denpasar, yesterday. Picture: Lukman Bintoro / The Daily Telegraph
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