Indonesian boy died of bird flu, local tests show

An Indonesian teenager died of bird flu after coming into contact with dead chickens, health officials said Thursday, citing local test results. Blood and swab samples for the 15-year-old boy have been sent to a World Health Organization-sanctioned laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmation, said Runizar Roesin, of the bird flu information center.

If the tests come back positive, the boy, who died Wednesday in the city of Bandung, will be Indonesia's 15th confirmed human bird flu fatality. Health officials are also awaiting WHO confirmation for a market vendor who died last week after coming into contact with sick poultry.

Hundreds of millions of chickens and ducks have died or been culled since the H5N1 strain of bird flu started ravaging poultry stocks across Asia in 2003. It has also jumped to humans, killing at least 85 people in Asia and in Turkey, reports the AP. I.L.

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