January 24, 2008 / 11:47 AM / 10 years ago

Indonesian man dies of bird flu, toll up to 98

JAKARTA, Jan 24 (Reuters) - A 30-year-old Indonesian man who had tested positive for bird flu died on Thursday, the health ministry said, taking the country’s death toll from the virus to 98.

The man, from Tangerang west of Jakarta, died at the Persahabatan hospital after being treated for a week, said Sunan Raja, an official at the ministry’s bird flu information centre.

It was not known how the man contracted the disease.

Indonesia has had the most deaths from bird flu of any country.

Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting bird flu, endemic in bird populations in most of Indonesia.

Although bird flu remains an animal disease, experts fear the virus could mutate into a form easily passed from human to human and kill millions.

(Reporting by Telly Nathalia; Writing by Ahmad Pathoni; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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