Indonesian health officials investigating possible human to human transmission of H5N1 Bird Flu virus

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Indonesian Health officials are concerned that a 9-year-old girl who died of the H5N1 Avian Flu virus, contracted the illness as a result of human to human transmission and officials say a team of experts are on the way to the area to determine if a cluster exists.

"The tests were positive. She died of bird flu. A team left this morning to check if there is a cluster or not," said Bird Flu Information Center scientist, Nurdin.

Ai Siti Amanah who lived in Garut, located in West Java died on August 15 before health officials were able to determine that she had the deadly virus and only one day after arriving for treatment at the hospital.

It is believed that the girl had contact with a 17-year-old male named Umar Aup from the same town who is infected with the virus , but health officials say he is recovering at a local hospital. He was diagnosed with the illness on August 12. Another boy named Misbah, 20, cousin of Aup died earlier in August and was not tested for the disease but officials say he was exhibiting signs of the illness.

Supari Indonesia's health minister stated that tests will be done on the two subjects to determine the origin and the "exact type of the virus."

Three months ago, seven family members died when they contracted the virus through human to human transmission.

So far, 46 people have died from the virus in Indonesia.