Avian influenza – situation in Indonesia
14 January 2006
The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed an additional case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case occurred in a 29-year-old woman who worked as a midwife at the maternity ward in a Jakarta hospital. She developed symptoms on 31 December, was hospitalized on 2 January, and died on 11 January.
Investigations conducted by the Ministry of Health and WHO found evidence of poultry deaths in her neighbourhood in the two weeks prior to onset of illness. Other findings indicate that the patient visited a live-bird market to select and purchase freshly slaughtered chicken in the days immediately prior to symptom onset. Investigations at these sites are continuing.
The possibility that the patient acquired her infection from an occupational exposure is considered unlikely. Investigations conducted today reveal that none of her co-workers was ill prior to the start of her illness. According to hospital records, no patients in the ward where she worked showed signs of influenza-like illness while hospitalized.
Contact tracing has been extensive for this case as the woman worked two shifts at the hospital at the time of symptom onset. At this stage, there is no evidence that she transmitted the infection to any patients under her care or to colleagues at the hospital. Similarly, there are no signs of illness in family members or neighbours. Health monitoring of contacts will continue until the maximum incubation period has ended.
The newly confirmed case is the 17th in Indonesia and the 12th fatality.