Flu claims Thai boy
( 2004-02-03 23:05) (Agencies)
A 7-year-old Thai boy given only a 30 per cent chance of surviving bird flu died yesterday, becoming the country's fourth confirmed death from the disease, chief government spokesman Jakrapob Penkair said.
Officials said the dead boy's twin brother, who had been in hospital briefly as a suspected victim of the avian influenza which leapt to humans in Viet Nam and Thailand, had proved not to have the virus.
Bird flu has now killed 13 people in the two countries.
Indonesia, the world's fourth most populated nation, said it had detected the H5N1 strain in poultry yesterday. The strain is the only form of the avian influenza virus known to have killed humans.
"The identification process indicates the virus H5N1 in poultry... but so far there is no case among humans,'' Tri Satya Putri Naipospos, director of animal health at the Agriculture Ministry, told a news conference.
In Germany, a spokeswoman for the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg said tests showed two women examined for possible bird flu infection had not caught the disease, but probably had a human strain of flu instead.
Health authorities had said late on Monday it was very unlikely the women had bird flu, but the scare sent shares in airline Deutsche Lufthansa and tour operator TUI tumbling because of fears it could affect bookings from German tourists.