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Deadly Bacterial Pneumonia in Indonesia Linked to Tsunami?
July 13, 2005
IIndonesian Minister of Health Siti Fadillah Supari denied Wednesday that bird flu has killed two persons in the town of Tangerang over the last five days.
She said that the two, a father and his one-year-old daughter, died from acute pneumonia.
"Based on a laboratory test conducted by the ministry's research and development center on July 13, the pneumonia was caused by pathogenic bacteria, and there was no indication of pathogenic virus,"
The comments above are remarkably similar to the cluster of pneumonia cases in Tacheng, where H5N1 bird flu had forced the culling of over 13,000 birds. Shortly after the bird flu outbreak in domestic geese, isolation wards were established for patients and health care workers.
The bacterial pneumonia isolation wards were curious because bacterial pneumonia usually is not easily transmitted and usually not very serious.
More information of the isolated killer bacteria would be useful as would more detail on the H5N1 tests that produced "no indication" of virus.
Qinghai officials had indicated there were no "reported cases of human H5N1 in Qinghai, but they only tested two people and there were questions about the reliability of the probes.
Bacterial pneumonia is a secondary infection of influenza.
Thus, more information would be useful since the father, Iwan Siswara Rafei, may have links to the Tsunami Relief effort.