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Indonesia Reports New Bird Flu Death


The World Health Organization says a two-year-old girl from East Jakarta has become Indonesia's latest confirmed fatality from bird flu.

WHO says the toddler died at the end of November, 11 days after she developed symptoms. In a statement Tuesday, the agency said tests confirmed she was infected with the H5N1 virus.

Indonesia has had nearly half of the world's (at least 245) confirmed human deaths from bird flu since the virus began infecting poultry stocks in 2003.

Separately, officials in Hong Kong say experts are studying whether the bird flu virus has mutated since the current vaccine was developed in 2003. A new outbreak of bird flu was recently detected among 60,000 chickens at a poultry farm. Authorities are slaughtering tens of thousands of birds at the farm and nearby locations.

Bird flu normally passes from bird to human, but experts fear it could begin spreading from one human to another and start a pandemic that could kill millions of people.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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