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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 20:21, March 16, 2007
Death toll of bird flu in Indonesia reaches 65
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A 32-year-old Indonesian man, who died on Thursday, was tested positive of avian influenza, putting the fatality of the disease to 65 out of 86 cases in the country, the Indonesian Health Ministry said Friday.

The man from Eastern Jakarta had been sick since Sunday and admitted to a hospital on March 13, and a day later, he was transferred to a designed-bird flu hospital of Persahabatan in eastern Jakarta, said Joko Suyono, an official of the anti-bird flu center of the ministry.

"He died on Thursday morning at the Persahabatan, and the results of two laboratory tests all positive," he told Xinhua.

It was not clear whether the man had history of contact with bird flu-infected animal, as he looked after birds in his house, said the official.

The number of bird flu cases in Indonesia has increased recently after months of absence of new cases.

Indonesian health authorities have imposed a firm policy separating fowls from human and intensified surveillance on the virus. In addition, the authorities have forbidden raising fowls in residential areas.

Over 32 million families in Indonesia's vast archipelago have raising chickens in backyard, according to Indonesian Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono.

Indonesia, which has been hit the hardest, has become one of the front lines in the fighting against the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus.

Experts have warned the international community of the risks of the disease should Indonesia fail to prevent the virus from spreading.

Millions of people can be killed should the virus mutate into a certain level, which can make it transmittable among humans.

The huge territory, back-yard centered farming and relatively lack of budget have hampered the authorities in the country to fight avian influenza.

Source: Xinhua

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