Bird Flu Alarm

2006-01-21-Child bird flu deaths confirmed

Understanding Avian Influenza

2006-01-21-Child bird flu deaths confirmed


Two Indonesian children died of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, the World Health Organization has confirmed according to health officials.

The deaths of the 13-year-old girl and her four-year-old brother bring the total number of bird flu fatalities in Indonesia to 14.

More than 80 people have died since its resurgence in December 2003.

Millions of chickens and ducks have died of the disease, or been culled to prevent its spread.

Experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily between humans, possibly sparking a pandemic.

The 13-year-old Indonesian girl died last Saturday in Indramayu, on the island of Java, and her brother a few days later.

Their 15-year-old sister has also been hospitalised with symptoms of the virus.

Indonesia is also awaiting confirmation that a 39-year-old man died of bird flu earlier this month.

Understanding Avian Influenza