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Bird Flu Claims Indonesian Market Vendor

An Indonesian market vendor who came into close contact with sick birds has died of what is thought to be the H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.// Health authorities at Jakarta's Infectious Diseases Hospital confirmed that the 22-year-old man carried the virus. Blood and swab samples have been sent to a World Health Organization-approved laboratory in Hong Kong and if that report is positive then the death toll in the country will rise to 15.

The WHO is calling for preventive measures in order to prevent another outbreak, "We have noted that the awareness of potential transmission is not really there yet. In the sense that for instance, some of the sellers are keeping chickens very close to ducks. Which can be a problem because ducks do not show the disease but can carry it and transmit it.," said Alexander von Hildebrand, WHO Regional adviser. However, Indonesia has not started culling poultry animals in an effort to stop the outbreak although most of the South Eat Asian countries have dome so. The WHO has officially said that so far 83 people have died of bird flu.

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