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» 07/15/2005
INDONESIA
Avian flu kills three
by Mathias Hariyadi
According to the Health Ministry, there is a 99 per cent certainty that there deaths are the result of the H5N1 virus, which causes the bird flu.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia's Health Ministry has confirmed that the death of Iwan Siswara Rifei (37) and his two young children Thalita Nurul Azizah (1) and Sabrina Nurul Aisyah (8) are "99 per cent because of the bird flu".

In a statement, Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said that it was reasonable to believe that the deaths were due to the H5N1 virus, which causes the bird flu. "It is not SARS, as some might have thought," she said.

But the final proof will come from a Hong Kong lab. "Laboratory analysis has shown traces but we are not still fully convinced. We have to wait for other laboratory analyses made in Hong Kong. In a week, the results should be in," Minister Supari added.

Iwan Siswara Rifei died on July 12 after exhibiting the typical symptoms associated with SARS (high fever, endless cough, and respiratory problems). His daughters passed away on July 9 and 14. All three had been hospitalized in Siloam Gleneagles Hospital. No other member of the family shows signs of the disease.

The Indonesian government has set up special veterinary units to inspect poultry, pigs and rats, all of whom can carry the virus.

On several occasions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has invited the governments whose countries have been affected by the virus to communicate rapidly and clearly all information about risk situations. It warned that as the virus moves, there a greater risks that it might mutate into a form that can cause human-to-human contagion.

According to WHO figures, so far there have been 54 known deaths related to the bird flu during the two peak outbreaks that have affected about a hundred people in China and South-East Asia since 2003.

Since its first outbreak, the disease has also struck about 100 million birds; in poultry, the mortality rate has been 100 per cent.

Contagion in humans can be lethal with a 54 per cent mortality rate in all known cases.


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See also
10/27/2005 ASIA
Suspected new cases of bird flu in humans in China and Thailand
07/08/2005 PHILIPPINES
First avian flu case detected
06/15/2005 VIETNAM
Hanoi announces three new bird flu cases
09/22/2005 INDONESIA
Fears of bird flu outbreak spread in Indonesia after two children die
03/09/2005 VIETNAM
New, asymptomatic bird flu cases

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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