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Hospitalization of Four Zoo Visitors Raises H5N1 Pandemic Fears
September 22, 2005
The numbering additional patient of three people entered RSPI since struck 01.00 WIB. they namely Yenina (10 years), Alfa Pratama (1.5 years) and Mukalim (19 years). Yenina and Alfa were recorded had visited to the Ragunan Zoo. Whereas Mukalim was directly touching with birds.
The above machine translation indicates four more people were admitted to Sulianti Saroso Hospital on September 22. Media reports also describe a 15 year-old male who was also admitted with bird flu symptoms on September 22.
The two children who had visited the zoo brings the number of children to four. In addition three zoo employees have symptoms and two, Abdul Muntalib, a food vendor, and Ari Seytonini, a tour guide, are also at Sulianti Saroso.
The people who have been admitted have serious bird flu symptoms. 115 more zoo visitors with milder symptoms have not been admitted.
These numbers are cause for concern. The zoo was closed three days ago, so most infected over the weekend would just now be showing symptoms, including mild fever like many of the 115 turned away. Others would be waiting to see how sick they get, and while waiting may be spreading H5N1 far and wide.
The spread of H5N1 from the zoo however, is cause for concern because there is no clear link between patients, even if the number of cases are limited to the six at the above hospital. The four children range in age from 1.5 to 10 years and the two zoo workers did not have a direct tie with the birds or animals. Thus, they appear to have become infected via casual contact with H5N1.
The number linked to the Rangunan Zoo will become increasingly clear in the next 1-2 weeks. The large number of visitors provide a major amplification point for transmission of H5N1 to humans.
H5N1 has clearly changed, and the next few weeks will show if the pandemic is at phase 5 or phase 6.