Emergencies preparedness, response

Avian influenza – situation in Indonesia - update

23 January 2006

The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed an additional 2 cases of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Both cases were fatal.

The first patient was a 13-year-old girl. She developed symptoms on 6 January, was hospitalized on 12 January, and died on 14 January. The second patient was her four-year-old brother. He developed symptoms on 8 January, was hospitalized on 14 January, and died on 17 January.

Two other family members, a 14-year-old sister and the 43-year-old father, remain hospitalized with respiratory symptoms. The sister was hospitalized on 14 January and the father on 17 January. Samples from these cases are being tested to determine whether they were also infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Investigations conducted by the Ministry of Health and WHO found evidence of a large poultry outbreak in the family’s neighbourhood. Chickens kept by the family began to die three days before the first patient developed symptoms. All family members had close contact with the diseased chickens and assisted in the removal of dead birds.

Contacts have been traced, blood samples have been taken, and monitoring for signs of influenza-like illness continues. The authorities began culling operations in the area over the weekend. The newly confirmed cases bring the total in Indonesia to 19. Of these cases, 14 were fatal.