Indonesia Confirms 127th Human Bird Flu Case

JAKARTA ~ The 14-year-old daughter of an Indonesian woman infected with bird flu last month was also confirmed as carrying the virus on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said.

The teenager, the nation’s 127th case, was in a critical condition at Jakarta’s Persahabatan hospital, where her 38-year-old mother was admitted for treatment on February 1, the ministry and doctors said.

The often deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has claimed 103 lives in Indonesia, making it the worst-hit nation.

“She tested positive in both test results,” ministry spokeswoman Lily Sulistyowati said, referring to the girl.

Two positive results of tests on blood and tissue samples are needed before Indonesian authorities confirm a human bird flu infection.

Muchtar Ikhsan, a doctor treating the latest case, said the teenager was admitted on February 8 and was gravely ill, but her mother was improving.

“The girl … is in an ICU (intensive care unit) and is being assisted by a ventilator,” he said.

The mother and daughter came from West Jakarta’s Kaliderest district, which lies next to the satellite town of Tangerang.

Nine people have died from bird flu in Indonesia so far this year, all of them from Jakarta and its surrounding sprawl.

Earlier, the ministry said that the infected mother lived in a neighborhood where backyard poultry are kept, but the ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the pair had visited relatives where neighbors kept poultry.

Bird flu is now officially endemic across nearly all of Indonesia.

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