SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Man dies of avian flu in Indonesia

The recent death of a man in Indonesia brings the country's death toll from bird flu to nine this year.

The Global Alert Health Response reported a lab-confirmed new case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus, according to the Ministry of Health in Indonesia, MedicalNewsToday reports.

The 37-year old victim came from Yogyakarta province and lived 50 meters from a poultry slaughterhouse and near a farm. The man also had four pet caged birds in his home, according to investigation results.

On July 24, the man developed a fever. He was admitted to the hospital on July 27 and died three days later, according to MedicalNewsToday.

H5N1 is a subtype of the influenza A virus. The virus has killed tens of millions of birds, mostly in Asia, and can cause illness in humans.

The illness has resulted in death in more than half of the reported cases since 2003. Most cases in humans appear to have occurred as a result of contact with an infected bird. The virus has hit Indonesia the hardest, with total deaths reaching 160, MedicalNewsToday reports.

H5N1 has not resulted in a pandemic in humans and does not appear to spread easily among mammals. Three studies published earlier this year explore how genetic changes could make the virus spread easily in humans. The study says that some of these genetic changes may already be under way.

The reports were not released to the public last year over fear that they could be used by terrorists in bioweapons creation, MedicalNewsToday reports.