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H5N1 Cluster in Samerang Raises Phase 5 Concerns
September 29, 2005
The taking of the sample of blood was carried out because of two children Suwadi, Faisal Paradise (15) and the daughter Sulistyowati (18 months), died without being known by his cause. Now one child Suwadi other, Nur Aidy (8), was reported was sick.
The above machine translation describes a family cluster in Demak, Central Java. Three children in the Suwadi family have now died or have symptoms. The index case, 15 year-old Faisal Paradise showed symptoms on September 15 and died September 20. 18 month old, Sulistiwadi died four days later. Now 8 year old, Nur Aidy is showing bird flu symptoms. The family's chickens had recently died. The time gap between the deaths of the two siblings and the disease onset of the third sibling suggests human-to-human transmission.
Nur Aidy has been transferred from Wedung Community Health Center to RS Kariadi in Semarang. Another patient, 58 year-old Suprat, was also transferred to RS Kariadi. He is a chicken vendor and began to show bird flu symptoms about a week ago. The cluster of H5N1 bird flu cases is shown on the Indonesia map.
The clustering of cases is cause for concern. Three family members with bird flu symptoms suggest human-to-human transmission of a virulent H5N1. Moreover, the hospitalization of the chicken trader from the same area causes additional concerns. This cluster is far from the much larger cluster in Jakarta (see map). Yesterday, a child was just admitted who's mother had been hospitalized after a visit to the Ragunan Zoo where there was massive H5N1 infections in asymptomatic birds on exhibit. Now the zoo in Semarang is also H5N1 positive raising the possibility of another large cluster due to casual contact.
These growing clusters, and clusters of clusters, signal a pandemic phase 5, which is getting close to the final phase 6.