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Bird flu: Indonesia records 20th fatality

Local tests have shown that a 27-year-old woman who died in Jakarta had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 20:41 IST

Indonesia on Wednesday recorded its 20th fatality of the deadly bird flu.

Seven persons were hospitalised with symptoms of respiratory tract infections in Malaysia which began culling of poultry and surveillance of villages hit by the avian influenza.

Local tests have shown that a 27-year-old woman who died in Jakarta this week had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, a health ministry official said.

Blood and swab samples from the woman were sent to a World Health Organisation accredited laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmation of the local lab results.

So far, 19 people have been killed in Indonesia due to bird flu.

Most of the victims lived in Jakarta.

Worldwide, 170 human cases including 92 deaths have been recorded following the outbreak.

In Malaysia, two adults and five children aged between two months and 12 years have been admitted to local hospitals in Kuala Lumpur to ascertain if they had been infected by the H5N1 virus.

Malaysian health minister Chua Soi Lek said the results of the tests conducted on the seven people would be out tomorrow.

He warned that it was premature to predict if they had contracted avian flu.

More than 800 poultry in the country have been culled to check the spread of the virus.

First Published: Feb 22, 2006 20:41 IST