Bird Flu Kills 8-Year-Old Girl in Indonesia, Country's 8th Death From H5N1 This Year

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Slaughtered chickens are displayed in a local market in Surabaya, Indonesia. An eight-year-old girl died of bird flu in Indonesia's eighth death from the disease this year, the Health Ministry said on Thursday. Authorities say that the girl may have contracted the disease on June 12 when she and her father made contact with slaughtered chickens bought from a local market. REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas

An eight-year-old girl died of bird flu in Indonesia's eighth death from the disease this year, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The girl, identified as “K.K,” of the West Java district of Karawang, died Tuesday in a Jakarta hospital that had been treating her since June 28, according to The Jakarta Globe.

She had developed a fever on June 18, a day before going on to Singapore, where she was diagnosed with laryngitis, the ministry said Friday on its website. K.K had returned five days later and was treated in a Karawang hospital before she was transferred to a hospital in Jakarta.

Tjandra Yoga Aditama, director general of disease control and environmental health at the Health Ministry said that K.K. may have contracted the disease on June 12 when she and her father might have had contact with slaughtered chickens bought from a local market, The Jakarta Globe reports.

“She was in contact with [live] poultry,” Tjandra said, according to The Jakarta Globe. “She went to the market with her father and sibling and bought five live animals. She chose to hold the chickens after they have been killed.”

Tjandra said that by June 24, six days after she first began experiencing symptoms, the girl had developed a high fever, persistent cough and nausea, and doctors in Jakarta said that the K.K. showed signs of pneumonia. She had been transferred two more times and placed on a ventilator in intensive care before she was diagnosed with the H5N1 virus on June 29.

“Her condition got worse and on July 3, 2012 at 22.45 she died,” Tjandra said.

The virus has killed more than 330 people around the world, with Indonesia being the most affected country, suffering at least eight fatal cases in 2012.

Health experts say that most human infections happen as a result of direct contact with infected birds.

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