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SARS or H5N1 Fatalities in Indonesia?

Recombinomics Commentary

July 15, 2005

He added that it was Sabrina who first came down with a high fever and respiratory problems. She was admitted to the hospital on June 29. Her father, who often visited her, and Thalita, developed the same symptoms shortly thereafter.

The two were admitted to the hospital on July 7. The one-year-old girl died after being treated for two days.

Deni also denied media reports that claimed that Iwan and his family had just returned from India and Hong Kong, where at least 298 people have died of SARS in recent years.

"According to his passport, Iwan's last trip abroad was in October last year to Hungary without his family,"

The disease onset date suggest familial human-to-human transmission is involved and the etiological agent was acquired by the index case in Indonesia, since there was no recent travel outside of Indonesia.

The etiological agent is likely to be H5N1 bird flu.  Bacterial pneumonia is usually not fatal or readily transmissible.  There have no reported cases of SARS during the summer.

OIE has declared Indonesia to be endemic for H5N1 and at least one poultry worker has developed H5N1 antibodies.

The additional testing in Hong Kong will be useful.

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