Indonesian man succumbs to bird flu infection, reports UN health agency
A 47-year-old man from Indonesia’s Banten province on the western tip of the island of Java has become the latest human fatality from avian influenza, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has reported.
Indonesian health officials have confirmed that the man from the province’s Tangerang District died last week as a result of contracting the H5N1 virus – responsible for outbreaks of bird flu around the world in recent years.
So far, 93 of the 115 confirmed bird flu cases in Indonesia have been fatal, according to a statement from WHO. The South-East Asian archipelago is one of six countries where the virus is still enzootic, which means it is continuously present and being passed between poultry.
News of the fatality has emerged two days after the UN agency reported that two Pakistanis have died in a separate outbreak of the same virus. A 24-year-old Chinese man from Jiangsu province also died earlier this month.
Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that continued vigilance is necessary to avert a global pandemic of bird flu given that outbreaks are still circulating in many parts of the world, while a joint report from the UN and the World Bank also urged countries to bolster their readiness.