Bird flu kills Indonesian toddler, raises country's death toll to 89 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bird flu kills Indonesian toddler, raises country's death toll to 89

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - An Indonesian toddler has died from bird flu after apparently coming into contact with dead poultry, health officials said Wednesday.

The 4-year-old girl from Tangerang, about 12 miles west of Jakarta, died Monday after being hospitalized for two days, said Nyoman Kandun, a senior health ministry official.

Kandun said investigators concluded the girl had contact with dead poultry in her neighborhood.

The death raised the number of people in Indonesia who have died from the disease to 89, Kandun said.

The girl was the fourth Indonesian killed by the disease this month. Indonesia's death toll from bird flu now accounts for almost half of the recorded 203 fatalities worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease remains hard for people to catch - most cases have so far been traced to contact with infected birds. But experts fear it could mutate into a form that spreads easily between humans, potentially sparking a global pandemic.

Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous country and home to millions of backyard chickens, is considered a possible hot spot for spreading the disease.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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