Indonesia Records 117 Bird Flu Patients

JAKARTA - A 16-year-old Indonesian girl from an outskirts city of Jakarta has been infected by avian influenza, putting the total number of cases in the hardest-hit country to 117 with 94 fatalities, the health ministry said here Friday.
calendar icon 11 January 2008
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The girl from Bekasi city has been treated at the bird flu-designed hospital of Persahabatan in East Jakarta since Wednesday after receiving treatment at a hospital in Bekasi since January 4,an official of bird flu center of the ministry Joko Suyono said.

All lab tests indicated that the girl was positively contractedby the H5N1 virus, he said.

"Both laboratories tests of her blood samples are positive," he told Xinhua.

The girl consumed three chicken eggs two weeks ago after scores of chicken died suddenly in her residence in the last two months, said Suyono.

The girl first showed symptoms of the disease with high fever and throat problems on December 30, he said. Then she went to doctors on December 31 and January 2, said the official.

"She has had high pneumonia and leucopoenia with worsening condition when she was treated at a hospital in Bekasi on Jan. 4,"said Suyono.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country and home to millions of backyard chickens, is considered as a possible hot spot for spreading the disease, although the country has culled millions of chickens and pigs.

Indonesia has been combating highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses, which have slowly and persistently spread to human.

Indonesia is faced with major problems in dealing with the spread of the virus, including huge territory, traditional way of raising chickens on back yard.

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