World News

Indonesia confirms 2nd bird flu death on Bali

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian woman from the popular tourist resort of Bali has died of bird flu, a health ministry official said on Wednesday, the second confirmed death from the H5N1 virus on the island.

Joko Suyono of the ministry’s bird flu centre in Jakarta said the woman, who died on Tuesday in a hospital in Bali’s capital Denpasar, tested positive for H5N1 after a second test.

The woman, a 28-year-old poultry trader, had suffered from high fever and breathing problems before being hospitalised near her village of Tanah Lot on Saturday.

Tanah Lot on the south-western part of Bali is popular with tourists for its postcard sunset view and a temple that sits on an outcropping of rock in the ocean.

A 29-year-old Indonesian woman from west Bali died more than a week ago of bird flu, the first confirmed death in the resort, the centre of Indonesia’s tourism industry.

Bali, a predominantly Hindu island in mostly Muslim Indonesia, is starting to recover after suicide bombers killed 20 people in October 2005. The attacks came after more than 200 died in night club bombings in late 2002.

The island regularly hosts large international conventions and is due to hold an important U.N. climate change conference in December which about 10,000 people are expected to attend.

Authorities have culled thousands of chickens and put in place a transport ban on moving fowl since tests confirmed the first human death on the island last week.

Contact with sick fowl is the most common way for humans to contract the disease.

Indonesia has had 105 confirmed human cases from bird flu, out of which 84 have been fatal, the highest for any country in the world.