The World Health Organization (WHO) had completed a month-long investigation of Indonesia's biggest cluster death of bird flu in Karo regency, North Sumatra, but declined to reveal any results, local media reported here on Saturday.
WHO Spokesperson Sari P. Setiogi said that the organization had ended its investigation of the death of seven blood-linked people in Karo last week but the conclusion was not publicized due to Karo residents' objection.
"The threats from the Karo residents have nothing to do with the WHO team's investigation. The investigation was completed last week so the team had to leave Karo," she was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post.
When asked about the results, she declined to comment, saying the WHO had submitted the results to the Indonesian Health Ministry which was authorized to issue such a statement.
Dozens of residents staged a protest on Wednesday at the North Sumatra governor's office, demanding that the governor should ask the WHO team to leave the area within three days. They were threatening to personally tell the team to leave Karo if the government took no action by Friday.
This was not the first time that the village made media headlines since seven people from one family there were confirmed to die of the virus.
The first person in the family to die, a woman in her late 30s, was also believed to have had bird flu. She was buried before tests could be carried out.
Scientists feared that the family's case may represent what was known as tertiary transmission, where someone may have been infected by a chicken and later infected a relative, who then infected others within the group.