New AI death, second in possible family cluster case

29-09-2006 | |

The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed the country’s 52nd death from H5N1 avian influenza.

The 20-year-old man, whose infection was announced on 27 September, died early in the morning of 28 September.
The man was the brother of another bird flu victim, who died four days earlier, before samples could be taken. A third sibling, the brothers’ 15-year-old sister is now in Hasan Sadikin General Hospital in Bandung, with avian influenza-like symptoms. These cases have caused concern among health and veterinary officials that an infection cluster may have emerged, and that the siblings may have infected each other.
Officials investigating the elder brother’s death have determined that a likely initial source of infection was the dead birds the family was feeding to their dogs. Investigations are continuing.
Dr Mike Perdue of the influenza programme of the World Health Organisation says the risk of a mutation of avian flu is increasing, with the disease showing signs of resistance to the most effective anti-viral drugs available.
Meanwhile, Indonesian officials were cited as saying on Wednesday that more than 1,350 birds have been slaughtered this week near homes of the latest Indonesian bird flu victims.
Of the 68 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 52 have been fatal.