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Indonesian Bird Flu Death Toll Rises To 23

A day after Indonesia confirmed that the 23rd man had succumbed to the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, health officials confirmed that another man has tested// positive to the same virus. The H5N1 avian influenza virus has spread at a rapid rate over Europe and Africa and has flared up once again in Asia.

According to the World Health Organization, some 105 people have fallen a victim to the virus. In Indonesia the situation has become worse in the recent months. "A 23-year-old man was positive (for the disease) according to a local test. He is at Jamil Hospital in Padang, West Sumatra," I Nyoman Kandun, Director General of Disease Control at Indonesia's Health Ministry was quoted as telling Reuters. "He is alive and so far is in stable condition. It was unclear whether he had any contact with sick chicken or not." The blood samples are being sent to a World Health Organization-affiliated lab in Hong Kong for confirmatory tests. On Friday, health officials also confirmed that a one-year-old baby girl, who had last month, was also suffering from bird flu. Indonesia has also face severe criticism for failing to cull poultry animals. The country had resisted calls to do so saying that the expense incurred would be too large.

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