Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A 13-year-old Indonesian girl died of bird flu at the weekend while two of her siblings have tested positive for the H5N1 virus, a health ministry official said on Monday. "We found three positive bird flu cases in one family coming from Indramayu, West Java," said Hariadi Wibisono, the ministry's director of control of animal-borne diseases.
Wibisono said the girl died in an Indramayu hospital while her 15-year-old sister and 3-year-old brother had been sent for treatment at a hospital in Jakarta designated to care for bird flu patients. Indramayu is 175 km (110 miles) east of Jakarta. There was no evidence of human-to-human transmission and dead chickens had been found in the neighbourhood, he added.
The H5N1 virus is not known to pass easily between humans at the moment, but experts fear it could develop that ability and set off a global pandemic that might kill millions of people.
If confirmed by outside laboratories recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the latest cases would take total known deaths in Indonesia from avian flu to 13 and the number who have had bird flu to 20.