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Sunday 20th May 2018

Indonesia bird flu cases

11th January 2007

15032006_H5N1.jpgPersahabatan Hospital in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, one of two hospitals specially designated to treat cases of avian influenza, is now overwhelmed with patients in a sudden flurry of new cases.

A teenager died last week from bird flu, the fourth fatality this year caused by the H5N1 strain of influenza which has ripped through poultry flocks in the country, killing 61 people since 2003.

Nine people with bird flu symptoms were currently being treated at the hospital, where isolation rooms were now at full capacity, a doctor said.

Seven of them come from the same town in to the east of Jakarta, Bekasi.

The largest known cluster of human bird flu cases worldwide occurred in May 2006 in the Karo district of Indonesia's North Sumatra province, where as many as seven people in an extended family died.

Bird flu is endemic in around half of Indonesia's 33 provinces and the vast, developing country has struggled to contain the disease, which experts warn could become a global pandemic killing millions if the virus mutates to a form easily transmissible between people.

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