Indonesia's bird flu death toll climbs to 50 after another boy dies

Indonesia's bird flu death toll climbed to 50 on Friday after laboratory tests showed an 11-year-old boy died of the disease, a senior health official said.

The child died in a hospital in Tulungagung, East Java province, on Monday hours after he was admitted and two days after developing symptoms of the disease, said Nyoman Kandun.

He appeared to have had contact with infected poultry, reports AP.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed at least 144 people worldwide since it started ravaging poultry stocks in Asia three years ago, according to the World Health Organization, which has not yet updated its Web site with the boy's death.

Most human deaths have been traced to contact with sick birds, but experts fear the virus could mutate into a more transmissible form, potentially causing a deadly global pandemic.

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