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Indonesian boy dies of bird flu, lifting national death toll to 58

Indonesian boy dies of bird flu, lifting national death toll to 58

A 14-year-old Indonesian boy died from bird flu Wednesday, just days after being hospitalized, a health official said, the first H5N1 fatality in the country in six weeks.
Deputy Director Tjandra Yoga Aditama of the Persahabtan Hospital said the boy died four days after being admitted for treatment with flu-like symptoms.
The deadly H5N1 bird flu strain has now killed 58 people in Indonesia _ more than a third of the world's total _ since the disease began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in 2003.
The last recorded bird flu casualty in Indonesian was a 35-year-old woman who died at a hospital in the capital, Jakarta, on Nov. 28.
There had also been a lapse in new infections until two people contracted the disease earlier this week.
International experts have accused Indonesia's government of not doing enough to tackle the virus, which they fear may mutate into a form that could spread easily between humans and potentially kill millions around the world.
However, the number of infections and deaths has dropped sharply in the past three months _ a situation partly attributed to a national campaign to increase public awareness and vaccinate poultry.