Woman dies of bird flu in Indonesia

75th death in Indonesia from H5N1 strain.

JAKARTA | May 8, 2007

A 29-year-old woman has become the 75th person to die in Indonesia from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, health officials reported Tuesday.

The woman, from Pekanbaru in Riau province on Sumatra island, died May 3. Laboratory tests confirmed the deadly strain of avian influenza but it was not known how she contracted the disease.

The World Health Organization said there have been 81 confirmed cases of bird flu in Indonesia resulting in 63 deaths from 2003 through April 11, the latest date information was available. News reports, however, put the figures at 95 cases with 75 deaths. Since 2003, there have been 291 confirmed cases worldwide resulting in 172 deaths, the health organization said.

Health officials fear that if the H5N1 strain mutates, it could spread rapidly from person to person.

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