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H5N1 Admissions Include Eight Ragunan Zoo Visit

Recombinomics Commentary

September 24, 2005

Mr Sardikin said two people who visited a Jakarta zoo whose birds were infected with the virus were admitted to the hospital on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Another two patients, including a one-year-old girl, were admitted to the same hospital later Saturday, the Detikcom news website said.

The above comments indicate the number of patients admitted with bird flu symptoms continues to rise.  The two additional zoo visitors brings that total to eight children in addition to two Ragunan Zoo workers who have been admitted to Suliant Saroso.  Although the hospital is a referral hospital, it has limited admissions because of shortage of rooms and ventilators.  Earlier in the week 115 zoo visitors with symptoms were denied admissions because the symptoms were not severe enough.  Recently a class of 30 who visited the zoo had several members develop high fevers, and they also have not been admitted.

The zoo was closed on Monday, so many of the visitors from the weekend are just now developing symptoms or going to local hospitals, so the 8 admitted to Suliant Saroso reprsent only a small fraction of those visitors with symptoms.

The class of thirty was standing by the birds, where are heavily infected with H5N1, although the birds are asymptomatic.  The large number of zoo visitors with symptoms repreaents a dramatic change in transmission, since media reports suggest the visitors were at the zoo on several different days and there have been no indication that those with symptoms had direct contact with the birds.

More data is required to understand the full extent of these transmissions, but the efficiency for human infections appears to have increased significantly.


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