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Two Indonesians killed by bird flu

One teen and a 37-year-old woman have become the latest victims of the avian virus. Their deaths bring the country's brings the H5N1 fatalities to 59.

The woman developed symptoms on 1 January, and was admitted to Jakarta's Persahabatan Hospital five days later. Her 42-year-old husband and their 18-year-old son are suffering from symptoms of fever and respiratory infection, and are being tested for avian flu.

The new infections provide chances for H5N1 to mutate into a form more dangerous to people. Millions could die if it mutates and begins spreading easily between people, sparking a pandemic. South Korea, Vietnam and Nigeria had fresh poultry outbreaks last month, while China and Egypt found human cases.

The H5N1 strain is known to have infected 264 people in 10 countries since 2003, killing 158 of them. Indonesia recorded the most deaths.

Additionally, a 22-year-old man from Tangerang, in the Banten province on the west of Java island, has tested positive for H5N1. The man is from the same province as the woman who died.


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