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  • » 11/05/2005, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Fifth bird flu victim in Indonesia



    Two other cases of human infection have been confirmed. A global meeting will be held in Geneva on 7 November to coordinate and strengthen interventions, especially in Asia.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Indonesia has confirmed the fifth death from bird flu and two new cases of infection. A global meeting is set to convene on Monday 7 November in Geneva in a bid to counter the danger posed by the spread of H5N1 in Asia.

    Hariadi Wibisono, Indonesian Health Minister, today confirmed the death of the fifth victim from this lethal virus, the first since July. The victim is a 19-year-old girl from Tangerang, 40 km north-west of Jakarta, who died last month. Another two people have been infected including the victim's nephew aged eight years, said to be in "stable" condition.

    This brings the number of official cases of infection in the country up to nine, while tests on two children admitted to hospital with suspect systems have returned negative results. Several experts have said, however, that there were dozens of potential cases of infection which were never verified. Indonesia has only a few laboratories equipped for testing, usually are carried out in Hong Kong. Besides, it is difficult to monitor accurately the spread of the virus in a country with 17,000 islands spread over 5,000km with a population of 220 million inhabitants.

    Meanwhile, on 7 November, the first international meeting on bird flu is set to open in Geneva. Representatives from the Asian countries hardest hit by the H5N1 virus are expected above all at the three-day meeting. The aim is coordination of a global and regional response to the emergency and studying ways to strengthen local structures for the prevention and treatment of infection.

    In China, the health authorities of Hong Kong and Guandong province decided on 3 November to work together closely in case of an emergency.

    Yesterday, the World Bank – one of the organisers of the upcoming meeting – announced a program of 500 million US dollars to help poor countries fight bird flu. Jim Adams, the vice-president of the World Bank, said the funds will go to "help government resources, enhance collaboration of veterinary systems and to carry out the slaughtering and vaccination of animals."

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    See also

    18/10/2005 ASIA
    Alarm bells sound in the West but the frontline against the bird flu is in Asia
    Increasingly, voices are raised arguing that the fight against the bird flu must be carried out where it started, in South-East Asia. Countries in the region should be provided with the necessary aid. New cases of infected birds are being reported.

    02/06/2006 INDONESIA
    Bird flu: 8-year-old dies, human-to-human transmission feared

    The young victim died last night, three days after the decease of her elder brother. However, no samples for testing were taken from him.



    30/11/2005 ASIA
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    13/05/2005 INDONESIA
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    18/12/2008 ASIA
    Bird flu hits Asia again, from China and India to Egypt
    Outbreaks are recorded and poultry culled in India, China, Cambodia, and Hong Kong. People are ill in Indonesia and Cambodia. A 16-year girl dies in Egypt. The World Health Organisation urges countries not to let down their guard for a pandemic is still a real possibility.



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