Two teenagers from the same family have died within 10 days because of suspected bird flu in Jakarta, prompting health officials to take blood test of the rest family members, local press said Wednesday.
Istiqomah, 16, died four days after being admitted to the Persahabatan Hospital in the Indonesian capital on May 8 with laboratory test later confirming she had the avian flu virus.
She had been treated at the isolated room exclusively for bird flu patients but doctors failed to save her life, reported leading news website Detikcom.
Ten days before her death, brother Ahmad Rizki, 15, died after a brief treatment at another hospital with symptoms similar to bird flu.
"The symptoms were just the same: high fever, cough and faint. We thought it was the common flu so he didn't stay at the hospital, but then he died," Mahfud, the father of the ill-fated teenagers, said of Rizki.
But it cannot be confirmed that bird flu had caused Rizki's death as he didn't take a blood test.
The family live in a densely populated neighborhood where a nearby house grows chickens.
Apart from the two cases, Indonesia has so far confirmed 133 bird flu cases in human with 107 deaths since the virus was first reported in 2003.
(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)