06/16/2005, 00.00
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Indonesia, first human case of bird flu

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The first human case of bird flu was identified in Indonesia after a poultry worker tested positive this month, a World Health Organisation (WHO) official said on Thursday.

The poultry worker was first tested in March after an outbreak hit South Sulawesi province killing around 25,000 fowl. Out of the 81 people tested, his test at a Hong Kong laboratory showed a positive result, prompting another examination.

"The second test showed the exact same result as the first test, what's called a very low concentration of antibody," said Steven Bjorge, a WHO's epidemiologist.

"If the second (test) showed a high concentration of antibody that would indicate that he had a recent infection."

Indonesia's agriculture ministry has reported H5N1 outbreaks in fowl in South Sulawesi, West Java and Central Java in the first three months of this year, and had confirmed the virus had jumped species and was discovered in pigs last month.

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