- Note - The apparent rapidity of infection reported in
this story is cause for concern. If this
- form of H5N1 indeed came from the dead chickens, it suggests
a virulence and pathology
- that are astonishingly fast. -ed
- BANDUNG, Medan -- More possible
cases of bird flu have been identified in families in West Java and North
Sumatra, triggering fears of new disease clusters, as the national death
toll hit a record of 51 Monday.
- A 23-year-old male resident of Bandung died Sunday afternoon.
His 20-year-old brother is in critical condition in an isolation room at
Hasan Sadikin General Hospital.
- "Based on the symptoms, we suspect they are a new
cluster," said Fatimah Resmiati, the head of the environmental health
department at the West Java health office, Monday.
- Fatimah added that the elder brother died before he could
be taken to a hospital for testing.
- "Unfortunately, we don't have his blood sample,"
she said.his leukocyte (white blood cell) level was only 1,600 and he was
suffering from heavy pneumonia, which is usually confirmed as positive."
- The brothers' cousin said the brothers had fed their
dogs dead chickens they bought from a nearby market.
- He said the younger brother developed a flu-like fever
and breathing difficulties last Monday after feeding the dogs. His older
brother then fell ill. The doctor who practiced near their house, however,
believed it was only ordinary flu.
- As their conditions deteriorated, the brothers were taken
to Santo Yusuf Hospital on Saturday night. They were transferred to Hasan
Sadikin on Sunday because they were showing bird flu symptoms.
- Hadi Jusuf, who leads the bird flu team at Hasan Sadikin,
said the remaining brother's condition had worsened since he entered the
- "His leukocytes have continued to drop and the pneumonia
in his lungs is more widespread. Because he has such difficulty breathing,
we have attached him to a ventilator while giving him a high dose of Tamiflu,"
he said. Tamiflu, or oseltamivir, is a drug commonly used to treat bird
- West Java has recorded the highest number of bird flu
cases with 21 victims, of whom 16 have died.
- Meanwhile, five members of a family were being treated
as suspected cases in Adam Malik Hospital in Medan, North Sumatera.
- Two of the children were released Monday, but another
of the family's children, R.S., 11, died last Monday. Hospital spokesman
Sinar Periangin-Angin said the family was admitted Friday for high fever.
- The cause of the fever was not clear, he said, but unusual
chicken deaths had been reported within one kilometer of the family's house.
- The hospital's deputy director, Nur Rasyid Lubis, said
the rest of the family appeared to be recovering.
- A ministry official, meanwhile, confirmed that the 9-year-old
boy who died Friday in Jakarta was the country's 51st human fatality from
- The boy, believed to have had contact with sick chickens,
died in a hospital nine days after he first showed symptoms of the virus,
including high fever and difficulty breathing.
- "By the time he arrived at the hospital, it was
too late," I Nyoman Kandun, the Health Ministry's communicable disease
director general, told AP.
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Also my new website:
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health