An eight-year-old girl from Karawang, West Java, died after catching the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
The girl, identified as “K.K,” lived near the Karawang market. She often walked past the market’s live stock and bird pens on her way to school.
On June 12, K.K. carried a clutch of freshly killed chickens home from the market with her father, said Tjandra Yoga Aditama, director general of disease control and environmental health at the Health Ministry.
She became ill six days later on a trip to Singapore. A doctor there diagnosed the girl with laryngitis, Tjandra said.
But by June 24, the sickness intensified and K.K. was admitted to a Jakarta hospital with a high fever, a persistent cough and nausea. Doctors there said the girl showed signs of pneumonia.
K.K. was transferred two other times and placed on a ventilator in intensive care before she tested positive for the H5N1 virus on June 29, Tjandra said.
the girl’s condition continued to deteriorate.
“Her condition got worse and on July 3, 2012 at 22.45 she died,” Tjandra said.
The Health Ministry said that K.K. likely contracted avian influenza during her trip to the Karawang market.
“She was in contact with [live] poultry,” Tjandra said. “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.”
Indonesia was hit hard by the Asian bird flu epidemic in the mid-2000s. Since 2005, 158 people have died after catching the H5N1 virus.