Woman becomes Indonesia's 102nd bird flu fatality

Business Materials 1 February 2008 11:28 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - A 31-year-old woman from the Indonesian capital died from the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza virus, bringing Indonesia's bird flu death toll to 102, the world's highest, Health Ministry officials said on Friday.

The woman died late Thursday at Jakarta's Persahabatan Hospital, said Ningrum, an official at the ministry's bird flu information centre.

The woman had been treated at the hospital since January 26.

Her death was Indonesia's 102nd out of 124 diagnosed cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu. Both figures are the highest in the world.

Before the latest death, the World Health Organization had confirmed at least 224 deaths in 12 countries in Asia and Africa.

The most common way to contract the H5N1 virus is through contact with infected fowl. Although bird flu remains mainly an animal disease, experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that could spread easily from human to human, turning into a pandemic that could kill millions of people.