Friday, January 20, 2012

Indonesian toddler has died of bird flu in Jakarta

JAKARTA (AP) — Indonesian health officials say a 5-year-old girl has died of bird flu in Jakarta — just days after her uncle succumbed to the virus.

The H5N1 virus also claimed the lives of a man in Vietnam and a toddler in Cambodia this week. It has ravaged poultry stocks across Asia since 2003.

Indonesia's health ministry said Friday that several lab tests confirmed the girl had the virus.

She and her 23-year-old uncle lived in the same house and are believed to have been infected by sick pigeons.

Bird flu rarely infects humans and usually only those who come in direct contact with diseased poultry. But experts fear it will mutate into a new form that passes easily from person to person.

Indonesia has been hardest hit. Source