Indonesia confirms 9th bird flu death

Dec. 13, 2005 at 11:46 AM
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JAKARTA, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Indonesian health officials Tuesday confirmed the country's ninth death from bird flu after test results from a Hong Kong autopsy were returned to Jakarta.

Health department spokesman Hariadi Wibisono said the death Nov. 19 of a 35-year-old Indonesian man was from the H5N1 strain of the virus. He said the man had had a history of contact with poultry but gave no details, the BBC reported.

The Hong Kong laboratory that conducted the test is affiliated with the World Health Organization. The H5N1 virus has killed at least 70 people in Southeast Asia since the latest outbreak of avian influenza began in 2003.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Health Minister Siti Sufari Fadilah told China's state-run Xinhua news agency the country will double the number of hospitals designated to treat bird flu to more than 100 in the world's fourth most populous country over the next month.

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