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2 ‘Suspect’ Bird Flu Cases in Bali

Initial Tests ‘Positive’ for H5N1 for Two Children from Bangli, Northeast Bali.

(10/9/2011) Bali health officials are concerned that the H5N1 or Avian Bird Flu may have made a foothold among the human residents of Bali.

After a period of nearly two years in which no “suspect” cases have been reported, two siblings  from Bangli in northeast Bali, aged 10 and 5, are now hospitalized in the isolation unit of Bali Sanglah General Hospital.

The two children - a boy and a girl - were transferred from the Bangli Public Hospital to Denpasar on Friday, October 7, 2011, Suffering from symptom initially thought to be pneumonia or a lung infection, medical personnel grew concerned that when it was confirmed that the two young patients had symptom consistent with H5N1 and recent contact with a group of chickens that had died unexpectedly.

The Director of Medical Services and Nursing at the Sanglah General Hospital , Dr. A.A.N. Jayakusuma, told the press on Saturday, October 8, 2011, that the bird flu containment team have taken the necessary medical steps. “We have quickly undertaken supporting examinations and laboratory tests to confirm that whether or not the patients are victims of H5N1 which is the virus that causes Avian Flu. From the examinations carried out by the laboratory of Sanglah Hospitlal we have encountered positive confirmation,” explained Dr. Jayakusuma, as quoted by Bali Post.

Despite tests confirming H5N1 performed in Bali, the diagnosis will only be final when three different laboratories also confirm the results. Tests being conducted at Udayana University in Denpasar have now rendered a "positive" result for H1N. Jakarta lab results are expected on Monday.

The two children are being treated in isolation units at the hospital. All family members who have had contact with the children as well as the medical staff treating them are being given preventative dosages of Tamiflu.

The two children are receiving intensive medical treatment, including assisted breathing with respirators.