Indonesia delays Bird-Flu death news

It was only today, that the world learnt about the latest bird-flu death in Indonesia, even though the 21 year old victim identified only by the initials “AR”, died of the killer virus last week.

AFP reports that the victim died on Friday at a hospital in West Jakarta, quoting Ningrum, a doctor from Indonesia’s bird flu information centre.

The victim had tested positive for the H5N1 virus in two separate tests.

The increasing official secrecy about the spread of the Bird-Flu virus in Indonesia means that we do not really know as to how many human cases of H5N1 infection there really are in Indonesia.

The latest victim had first suffered flu-like symptoms 10 days earlier, but was only admitted to hospital three days before he died.

It was not known whether he had come into contact with infected poultry, the usual method of transmission.

Experts are still investigating how the man contracted the virus, said Tini Suryanti, spokesman of the Jakarta health office.

“We don’t know how he could have come in contact with sick chicken, since backyard poultry has long been banned by the city government,” Suryanti said.

Siti Fadilah Supari, the Indonesian Health Minister

Indonesia has now recorded 107 human cases of bird flu and 86 deaths, both the highest toll and fatality rate in the world. Before Indonesia’s latest death, at least 200 people had died in 11 countries in Asia and Africa of the disease, according to World Health Organization statistics.



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