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  Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Two more people have died in Indonesia over the last 24 hours after apparently contracting the lethal H5N1 strain of avian flu
Two more people have died in Indonesia over the last 24 hours after apparently contracting the lethal H5N1 strain of avian flu, a Health Ministry spokesperson said Thursday. A preliminary test has revealed the presence of the pathogenic virus in the blood of a 14-year-old boy from West Sumatra and a 28-year-old woman from Jakarta. The results of a second test are yet to be released. If they confirm the initial test results, Indonesia's death toll from bird flu will rise to 71 since 2003 when bird flu first hit Asian countries. The virus has already claimed more lives in the fourth most populated nation than in any other country. The ministry said Wednesday that post mortem analyses had confirmed the presence of the deadly H5N1 virus in the bodies of a 15-year-old boy from West Java, a 22-year-old woman from the city of Palembang, on the island of Sumatra, and a 39-year-old man from East Java. A top flu official at the World Health Organization said Monday that Russian research could be important in the fight against a possible global pandemic of bird flu. Experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that spreads easily among people, sparking a pandemic across the world. Russia has completed the first phase of clinical trials for a human vaccine against the H5N1 strain. Researchers said they had developed vaccine production techniques and that commercial production could be launched immediately in the event of a pandemic. So far, no human fatalities or cases of humans infected with the virus have been reported in Russia, where the first outbreaks were registered in southern provinces and in Siberia in 2005. The latest outbreak has been detected at several poultry farms in the Moscow Region in March. The area was quickly sealed off and the outbreak contained.
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