Southeast Asia, Especially Indonesia, Bearing Brunt of Avian Flu Cases

Indonesia's Ministry of Health reported a new case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza strain -- a 16-year-old girl from West Java Province who developed symptoms Dec. 30 and remains hospitalized, the World Health Organization reported Jan. 11. WHO said there have been 117 human cases confirmed in Indonesia, of which 94 have been fatal.

WHO's chart of human cases of the flu (www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/country/cases_table_2008_01_11/en/index.html) shows Southeast Asia remains the hot spot for this threat. Egypt and Turkey have reported cases in double digits, as has China, but Viet Nam and Indonesia are the only countries with more than 100 cases each. Thailand has reported 25 cases (17 deaths) and China has reported 27 cases (17 deaths).

WHO said investigators have found a history of deaths among chickens in her neighborhood in the two weeks preceding the onset of symptoms for the 16-year-old Indonesian patient.

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