An 11-year-old boy who died on Monday at a local hospital in Tulungagung, East Java, became Indonesia's 50th bird flu victim, Health Ministry officials confirmed yesterday. Runizar Ruesin from the health ministry's bird flu information center told Reuters that the boy had contact with dead chickens.
Local tests confirmed that he died to H5N1 virus infection. Indonesia is struggling to deal with bird flu infection and the human toll is steadily rising. Scientists fear that if the virus mutates to a form that can be easily transmitted between humans a pandemic may result killing millions.