办事指南

Bird flu claims two more lives in Indonesia

点击量:   时间:2019-03-02 10:17:06

By Indonesian health officials confirmed two more human deaths from bird flu on Monday. The virus has now claimed at least six lives in the country. A blood test confirmed that a five-year-old girl has become the latest victim of the virus to be identified, said I Nyoman Kandun, the Indonesian health ministry’s director-general of infectious diseases. The girl died last Wednesday. Although a saliva sample tested negative, the ministry has classified her case as a bird flu death based on the blood analysis, he says. Samples have been sent to Hong Kong for further analysis. A 27-year-old woman, one of five patients who had tested positive for bird flu at the Sulianto Saroso hospital for infectious diseases, died on Monday. Ilham Patu, spokesman for the hospital, said the woman had been in contact with fowl that had also died. The latest deaths bring to 65 the number of people in Southeast Asia known to have died from the H5N1 strain of the virus since 2003. Vietnam has recorded 43 deaths, Thailand 12 and Cambodia four. The Indonesian authorities revealed the latest deaths one week after the health ministry had declared it was facing an “extraordinary” outbreak of the virus. This classification allows the forced hospitalisation of suspected cases, among other measures. But extra help is on the way. On Monday, Australia increased the amount of anti-flu medication Tamiflu it is sending to Indonesia, from 10,000 to 50,000 courses. Japan also announced it was sending an expert team that would arrive on Tuesday to gather information and provide advice on counter-measures. The US is also providing assistance. A man and his two young daughters, who died in suburban Jakarta in July 2005, were the country’s first human fatalities from bird flu. The government said infected chicken droppings were suspected of having caused their deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) fears H5N1 will acquire genes from a human influenza virus, or evolve genes on its own, that allow it to spread readily among humans. That could make it both highly infectious and lethal to people, potentially sparking a terrifying pandemic. But the WHO has also urged calm, saying investigations in Indonesia had produced no evidence that H5N1 was spreading easily from person to person. On Friday, the UN said the situation was worrying and urged the country to improve its virus control policies. “In view of the worrying situation, it is necessary for the government to improve its virus control policies and strategies,” said Joseph Domenech,