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Indonesia Confirms 38th Bird-Flu Death

(epa) June 15, 2006 -- The World Health Organization has confirmed a 7-year-old Indonesian girl who died last month was infected with bird flu, taking the total number of confirmed bird-flu deaths in Indonesia to 38.

The girl came from the Pamulang area southwest of the capital Jakarta, and died on June 1 after treatment in a Jakarta hospital.

Her 10-year-old brother, who died days earlier, was buried before samples could be taken from him for tests.

The world's fourth-most-populous country, Indonesia is now on track to overtake Vietnam, which has had 42 deaths since 2003, in the number of deaths from bird flu.

The announcement comes after China said that three kinds of new avian-influenza vaccines had successfully been developed.

China's Agriculture Ministry said on June 14 that the three new vaccines, if used together, can "offer a solid technical effectively control the highly pathogenic avian influenza." Chinese officials say the new vaccines have not yet put into production.

The H5N1 strain of the virus has claimed more than 120 lives since 2003, most of them in Asia.

(AFP, dpa, Xinhua)

Interview With UN FAO's Erwin Northoff

Interview With UN FAO's Erwin Northoff

An expert at the National Virology Laboratory of the Kyrgyz Health Ministry (courtesy photo)

GETTING READY: Many have expressed concern about the ability of Central Asian countries to come to grips with a possible bird-flu outbreak. RFE/RL Turkmen Service correspondent Muhammad Tahir spoke with Erwin Northoff, news coordinator for the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about the issue. ....(more)