A four year-old Indonesian girl has died from H5N1 bird flu virus, and three other people in the area -- who did not have contact with the child -- are being tested for the virus, an official said on Monday.
With a death toll to date of 136, Indonesia has the highest number of deaths from the virus of any country globally.
The girl, who lived in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, died on Wednesday, said Azizman Saad, the head of bird flu unit at Arifin Achmad hospital. The three others -- a mother, her seven year-old child, and a five-year-old girl who live in Siak district, northeast of Pekanbaru -- were admitted to hospital on Friday.
The Arifin Achmad hospital in Pekanbaru, Sumatra, is waiting for lab results for the three patients to see whether they have been infected with the same virus, he told Reuters.
Saad said local health officials had found the three had been in direct contact with dead chickens before they suffered from high fever.
"They all have similar symptoms and they all have touched dead chickens," Saad said, adding that many dead chickens had been found in the area.
"Maybe they were contaminated by the same source," he said.
Asked whether there was a possibility of a cluster, Saad said that it was still under investigation. A spokesman for the Health Ministry, Tri Tarayati, said the government was still waiting for the results before testing for a possible cluster.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on its website put the death toll for H5N1 virus for Indonesia at 135, but Tarayati said the ministry will update the WHO with the recent death.
ReutersLast Mod: 03 Mayıs 2010, 11:16