Bird Flu Alarm

2006-01-13-East Jakarta woman dies of bird flu

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-01-13-East Jakarta woman dies of bird flu


Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A 29-year-old resident of Cipayung, East Jakarta, who tested positive for bird flu, died on Wednesday night at Sulianto Saroso Hospital.

The woman tested positive for bird flu in tests administered by the health ministry's laboratory, said Ilham Patu, the spokesman and head of bird flu surveillance at the hospital.

"She was in an acute condition when she was admitted on Monday ... she had bird flu symptoms. Her condition continued to deteriorate and at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, she died," Ilham told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

He said the woman, who was brought to the hospital from Harapan Bunda Hospital in East Jakarta, had acute pneumonia and a high temperature.

Ilham said the woman had a history of contact with sick chickens prior to her illness.

"Her family said a number of chickens belonging to her neighbors had died suddenly before she fell ill. So, she must have contracted the virus from the sick birds," Ilham said.

The family of the woman collected her body early on Thursday for burial.

Ilham said the government sent samples of the woman's blood to the World Health Organization-accredited laboratory in Hong Kong to confirm her status.

The government is also awaiting test results from the Hong Kong laboratory on samples taken from a 39-year-old man who died last week after testing positive for bird flu in local tests, he said.

If the two cases are confirmed, the country's human toll from the disease would climb to 13. So far, a total of 19 bird flu cases have been found in Indonesia, with six of the patients recovering.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Agency official Adnan Ahmad said his office would check chickens and other birds in the woman's neighborhood for avian influenza.

"If necessary, we will cull all chickens and birds in the neighborhood. We will ask residents to give up their birds voluntarily because we still cannot afford to given them compensation," he told the Post.

According to city administration data, East Jakarta has the highest number of infected chickens and birds compared to other municipalities, with hundreds of infected birds and chickens in at least eight subdistricts in East Jakarta having been found.

Understanding Avian Influenza