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H1N1 Virus Confirmed in Bali

Swine Flu Cases Confirmed Among Australian Visitors to Bali. One Patient Treated and Now Released from Sanglah General Hospital.

(6/29/2009) At least four foreign visitors suffering from the H1N1 Virus have been warded briefly at the Denpasar Sanglah General Hospital's isolation ward.

As reported by various new media, the Head of Medical Services at the hospital, I Gusti Lanang Suartana, confirmed the hospitalization of six foreign nationals, beginning last week with a 22 year-old female resident of Australia, Bobbie Masoner; a 12 year-old Australian boy, George Coltman. And two other adolescent Australians Tayla (14) and James (10).

The Englishwoman and the 12 year-old Australian boy are Bali's first confirmed H1N1 patients. The remaining two children are awaiting the results of tests that will confirm their condition.

Hospital authorities have now determined that Masoner's infectious period had passed and released her form hospital on Friday, June 26th.

Bali Health authorities continue to monitor the health of the remaining three patients and people with whom they have had contact in order to see if symptoms of wide contamination develop.

According to NusaBali,, all the confirmed and suspected cases of H1N1 virus infection arrived in Bali on board a Garuda flight from Melbourne, Australia on Friday, June 19th.

The incubation period for the H1N1 Virus is seven days.

Masoner disembarked that flight and went to her private accommodation before seeking medical assistance from a local clinic. Later, she was move to the Sanglah General Hospital on Sunday, June 21st after being treated at a local clinic for several days. Officials are now concerned that Masoner's condition was not detected by screening procedures in place at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport, but sought treatment on her own accord shortly after arriving in Bali.

Nationwide, six Indonesian have now been confirmed with the H1N1 Virus, but with five of the case affecting Indonesians currently abroad (Singapore, China and Australia). There are three confirmed cases involving Indonesian nationals in the capital Jakarta, one an airline pilot now hospitalized after he developed symptoms following several trips abroad.

Worldwide over 55,000 cases of H1N1 have been reported in 102 countries with 238 deaths linked to the illness. Most cases of infection are reported to be mild with 90% of all deaths to date emanating from Mexican patients.

Bali has prepared 54,000 dosages of Tamiflu as part of overall preparations to deal with a larger outbreak of the disease.

No Blood Tests

A spokesperson for the Indonesian Ministry of Health strongly denied reports published in some media that blood tests would soon be required from all foreign tourists arriving in Indonesia.

Chandra Yoga Aditama, of the Ministry’s Director General for Communicable Diseases, said: "I guarantee 100 percent that there are no blood tests for visitors in the airport, and there is no policy at the moment stating that all international visitors will be required to take that test."