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Feared bird flu outbreak in Indonesia kills three

world Updated: Aug 06, 2008 19:38 IST

AFP
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Three people have died and 13 have been admitted to hospital with symptoms of bird flu in Indonesia, a nurse treating the patients said on Wednesday.

Officials and residents in Asahan district of North Sumatra province said villagers began showing symptoms of avian flu after a large number of chickens died suddenly last week.

The nurse at Asahan district's Kisaran hospital said three people had died after suffering bird flu-like symptoms in Air Batu village.

"According to residents there, a number of chickens died suddenly last week followed by several pigeons. Days later, three people died with the same ailments," the nurse, Mariana, told AFP.

Another 13 people had been admitted to the hospital with "high temperatures and respiratory problems," she said.

"Two of these - a baby boy and a seven-year-old girl were transferred early today to a bird flu isolation unit at Adam Malik hospital in the provincial capital of Medan," officials said.

Adam Malik hospital spokesman Sinar Ginting confirmed that blood samples from the two children were sent on Wednesday to a health ministry laboratory in Jakarta for analysis.

"We are now waiting for the result," he said.

The father of the baby boy, Slamet Riadi, said a lot of poultry had died in the village a week ago. His baby developed a high fever and respiratory problems shortly afterwards.

A spokeswoman for the health ministry could not be reached for comment.