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Ten Hospitalized H5N1 Patients in Jakarta?

Recombinomics Commentary

September 20, 2005

"Yes, there are two more people, with one suspected case an employee of Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo while the other is a vendor at the zoo," Siti said.

The minister said that as of Tuesday, there had been six people admitted to Sulianti Saroso Hospital in North Jakarta. Two of them earlier tested positive for the virus. Blood samples from the other patients have been sent to a Hong Kong laboratory.

The number of conflicting media reports and confusing quotes from officials continue to grow as does the list of patients hospitalized with bird flu conditions.  Earlier reports indicated two zoo employees had tested positive for H5N1, but did not mention symptoms.  The comment above indicates two people affiliated with the zoo are hospitalized with symptoms.  One is an employee and another a vendor.  Other media reports indicate the vendor is a street vendor, which would seem to indicate that transmission at the zoo was casual.  Another media report describes a zoo trader as a 50 year-old male with a cough and breathing difficulties.  It is not clear if this is the street vendor or a third person associated with the zoo with symptoms.

Since Jarkata has its own H5N1 testing facility, it seems that samples sent to Hong Kong are for confirmation, and therefore all six of the hospitalized patients have already tested as positive for H5N1 in Jakarta.  Technically the two earlier admissions did test positive earlier, but that was because they were admitted earlier.  The official statement does not deny that the four later patients tested positive later in Jakarta.

The numbers appear to be growing for children hospitalized also.  Details on the first four admitted have been given previously.  The two most recent admissions, on September 18, were a 3 year old named Rosani Ningsih and an 18 month-old.  However media reports also describe a patient admitted early Monday morning who lives near a poultry farm in northern Jakarta.  Additional media reports describe a recent admission of a two year-old with initial WLS. as well as one with the initial R. 

Although the R could be Rosani Ningsih and WLS be the 18 month old who was also described as a two year old, there are rumors that the initials of the 18 month old are RH and RH is a contact of the  hospitalize 6/7 year old with initials MG or MT, who is lab confirmed H5N1 positive..  The association of MG/MT with another patient is supported by yet another media report indicating MG/MT is a source of additional infection(s).

Thus, the number of cases appears to be rising, along with conflicting media reports.  There may be three hospitalized adults affiliated with the zoo and up to seven children admitted.

However, the increasing examples of probable human-to-human transmission are the major cause for concern.


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