"JAKARTA, Indonesia — The bird flu virus racing through Asia killed a teenager in hardest-hit Indonesia and a young girl from Cambodia, both after being admitted to hospitals in serious condition, health officials said.
The 15-year-old girl from Indonesia’s capital Jakarta died late Thursday after experiencing multi-organ failure, said Sardikin Giriputro, a doctor at the facility.
“By the time she arrived, it was too late,” he said Friday.
The Cambodian child was initially suffering from high fever and diarrhea before being transferred from an eastern province to the capital Phnom Penh but she quickly got worse, the World Health Organization and health ministry officials said.
The 13-year-old developed a cough and was struggling to breathe before dying Thursday.
Bird flu has killed at least 170 people since it began ravaging Asian poultry stocks in 2003, WHO said. It remains hard for people to catch and most human cases have been linked to contact with sick birds — including the two latest deaths.
But experts fear it could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, potentially sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.
Indonesia, the hardest hit country with 73 human deaths, is seen as a potential hotspot for that to happen because of its high density of poultry and people.
Health Ministry official Muhammad Nadirin said local lab tests confirmed the girl who died Thursday — apparently after coming into contact with the family’s sick pet bird — had the H5N1 virus.
Cambodia’s death was that country’s seventh — and the first in a year.
Some chickens in the girl’s village died before she became ill and she may have been exposed to the virus after preparing and eating tainted chickens, said WHO and the health ministry.
Officials have been sent to the area to see if any other villagers were displaying flu-like symptoms or had come in contact with sick or dead poultry, they said in their statement."--------------------------------------------
Death comes quickly when Bird Flu strikes. It seems as though deaths from H5N1 run the gammut, from the very young, to teens, to people in their 30's and 40's... I haven't many reports about the elderly dying from it though. Interesting.
Winter's over and Bird Flu keeps killing. So far its kept to being very non-contagious and very deadly. The world's poultry reserves are dwindling and yet the thing is still going, unhampered, unchecked. The tell us there'll be vaccines...
This whole thing is just depressing the hell out of me. I think I'll just start posting on yellow fever in Africa. It might drop my readership but hell, at least there's resolution to those stories. H5N1 keeps eating at us, never swooping down for the kill, never making the fucking connecting mutation, and yet it still kills at least 3 people a month as far as I can tell for about 2 years now. How many bodies does it need to feed on before it goes pandemic and this story has a climax?!?
How long can the world collectively hold its breath on this thing?
Maybe the decriers are right, maybe H5N1 is just a paper tiger. Statistically minuscule, a gnat in the shadow of other killers: the Iraq War, Dengue, hell even the regular flu has killed more people this year.
I guess it's an issue of control. I can't control my government's actions in Iraq, besides through my vote and letters I write that no one reads. I can control H5N1, I can protect against it. I can be vigilant and prepared. That must be the appeal. No one wants to read about the horrors of the world that they can not contain, that they can not guard against.
And yet, H5N1 won't go away. We've kicked it up out of the depths of Southeast Asia and it just won't leave. First it killed all our birds, and now we're killing all our birds so it doesn't kill us. But its not going to kill us. There's no spark, there's no fire, there's only virus that holds the flint and refuses to use it. Its a terrorist; stays in the news, makes a few small attacks, and threatens to undermine the whole world.
I'm coming to believe that it's barely worthy of our attention. Fuck you Bird Flu - you're no black plague and you never will be. So just go the hell away!!!