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Indonesia bird flu toll 74



A vendor waits for customers at a poultry market in Jakarta on Saturday. — PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA: The second laboratory test of blood confirmed on Saturday that a 29-year-old man, who died last Thursday, had the H5N1 bird flu virus, bringing the death toll in Indonesia to 74, an official said on Saturday. The man, named Suramto, had contact with infected chickens before being treated in a hospital for nearly a week in Central Java province, Muhammad Nadirin, head of the Health Ministry's anti-bird flu centre, was quoted by local reports as saying. Indonesia has become the hardest hit country by bird flu in the world with the highest number of death. Last month five persons died of bird flu in the country and two more persons died this month. Indonesian health authorities have imposed a firm policy separating of fowls from human and intensified surveillance on the virus. In addition, the authorities have forbidden raising fowls in residential areas. — Xinhua

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