Suspected bird flu: Two deaths
After being treated for five days, a suspected bird flu victim from Tangerang died at the Tangerang General Hospital (RSUD) on Wednesday.
Hospital spokesman Achmad Muchlis said that the patient died from respiratory failure at about 12:30 a.m.
The condition of R, 18, a resident from Panongan district, Tangerang regency, deteriorated since he was treated in an isolation room. However, he tested negative for H5N1 in a polymerase chain reaction test conducted by the hospital.
The hospital needs to conduct a test involving virus sequencing to get a more accurate result on whether the man had the deadly disease.
When The Jakarta Post visited the hospital, his isolation room, located next to the morgue, was locked. Muchlis said his family would take his body home soon.
The teenager had suffered from a high fever for six days before he was taken to the private Sari Asih Hospital in Karawaci last Wednesday, when he then developed respiratory problems. As his condition worsened, the hospital transferred him to Tangerang General Hospital on Saturday. His death came after another suspected bird flu victim died on Monday.
RV, 3, from Cengkareng district in West Jakarta, died after suffering from high fever for several days. He had been treated at Hermina Hospital in Kalideres, West Jakarta, for nine days. But two days after his release from hospital, his fever returned and he was taken to the Royal Taruma Hospital in Grogol, West Jakarta, for a further nine days.
When he did not recover, doctors suggested treatment at the Persahabatan Hospital in East Jakarta. He died two days after being admitted at Persahabatan.
Jakarta Health Agency head Dien Emmawati said the patient had returned three negative test results.
“He had two tests taken before he died, and the results were negative. The third test was taken a day before he died, but as Monday was a public holiday, we could only know the result on Tuesday. It was also negative,” she said.
Over two weeks, there have been two confirmed deaths from avian flu in Jakarta alone.
Meanwhile, from Medan, North Sumatra, a team from Padang Sidempuan Health Agency will conduct a thorough examination on a 1-year-old girl, PA, suspected of being infected with bird flu.
The baby’s mother, Suriani, said that PA fell sick with a high fever after dozens of chickens in her neighborhood abruptly died.
She said that her daughter had a high fever for three days before a doctor said she was possibly infected with the virus.
Padang Sidempuan Health Agency head Doriah Hafni Lubis said a team had been assigned to check on PA’s condition. PA had initially tested negative to the virus. “The baby has hydrocephalus, not bird flu. The symptoms of bird flu are not found in her,” Hafni told the Post.
Hafni said that although there were no signs of bird flu, the agency would continue to examine the girl over the next few days.
“We will keep observing her condition, as several chickens in her neighborhood reportedly suddenly died,” Hafni said.
North Sumatra Health Agency head Chandra Syafi’i said he had not received any reports of residents being infected with bird flu, adding that the administration had been on alert for any cases.
“We’re ready. We have informed all related authorities, including residents, about the first response to bird flu,” he said.