Two avian flu suspects test negative

by Luh De Suriyani on 2013-02-16

A team of doctors at Sanglah Hospital confirmed that the laboratory tests on two toddlers suspected of suffering from avian flu had come back with negative results.

Early last week, the 9-month-old baby identified as AG from the remote village of Tembuku and a two-and-a-half-year-old boy, AD, both from Bangli regency, were rushed to Sanglah Hospital suffering from respiratory problems and other symptoms of avian flu.

The two boys live in villages where poultry infected with avian influenza had been identified.

I Ketut Suarjaya, head of the provincial health office, told journalists that the laboratory tests, examined in Jakarta, had shown that the H5NI virus that caused avian flu was not affecting the two children.

“The health of these two boys is improving and they are now having intensive treatment at the hospital,” Suarjaya said.

Previously, the provincial health office had warned local people to be on the alert for the possible return of an outbreak of avian influenza.

In late December and early January, four regencies in Bali, including Buleleng, Tabanan, Klungkung and Bangli, were reported to have cases of avian flu that killed hundreds of ducks in the regency.

The virus was a new and more malignant strain known as H5N1 Clade 2.3.2. and had killed thousands of poultry in Java before it spread to Bali.

Several preventive measures, including animal culling, were taken by the provincial administration to prevent the malignant virus from
affecting other regencies.

Ducks are a favorite dish for local residents. The animals are also used in various rituals.

“There have been no cases of humans with avian flu in Bali since April 2012,” confirmed Suarjaya, but added that people should remain on high alert.

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