A nine-year-old Indonesian boy who died shortly after being admitted to a Jakarta hospital tested positive for bird flu, bringing the country's human toll from the H5N1 virus to 51, health officials said Monday.
The boy, from Pondok Pinang suburb in southern Jakarta, died less than an hour after being admitted to Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital last week, which is designated to treat suspected bird flu cases, said Ningrum, an official at the Indonesian Health Ministry's bird flu monitoring centre.
"The boy was admitted at about 9:15 p.m. on Sep 22 and died at around 10 p.m. the same night," said Ningrum.
The boy had already spent two days at a police hospital in Jakarta, Ningrum said, adding that tests from two laboratories confirmed he was infected with the avian influenza virus.
The boy had recently been in contact with chickens infected with the virus, said a health ministry official.
Indonesia has the world's highest death toll with 51 fatalities from 67 confirmed cases.
Most of the victims had direct or indirect contact with chickens, but scientists fear the virus could mutate into a form easily transmissible among humans, sparking a global pandemic that could kill millions.
The highly pathogenic virus has spread to 29 of Indonesia's 33 provinces since being discovered here in 2003, killing millions of birds.