MONDAY JAN 14, 2008 (Foodconsumer.org) -- Indonesia announced Monday that a woman from an area west of the capital Jakarta had died of bird flu, raising the human death toll from the lethal virus to 95, Reuters reported.
The woman, 32, from Tangerang was said to have died at her home last Thursday after she was taken out of hospital where she had been receiving treatment a day earlier, said Suharda Nungrum of the health ministry's bird flu center.
Officials suspected that the woman contracted the bird flu virus through contact with a sick chicken, which is the common way for humans to acquire the primarily bird disease.
Ningrum was quoted as saying that "She bought a live chicken and some eggs from a market and cooked them" and kept chickens living in her backyard.
H5N1 virus was detected and confirmed by two laboratories.
Earlier on Christmas day, a 24-year-old woman from Jakarta died from the virus after handling a live chicken from a market.
Last week a teenager was treated in a Jakarta hospital for bird flu and the news media cited an official at the hospital as saying that the teen was stable, but was still on a respirator.
Bird flu primarily affects birds, domestic or wild, and rarely affects humans. But experts fear that one mutation in the H5N1 virus that is high lethal, but less contagious to humans would make it more contagious, but less lethal mutant which could kill millions of people globally.
Since the bird flu virus re-emerged in Hong Kong in 2003, the World Health Organization recorded 349 cases and 216 deaths from the virus.
In Indonesia, the virus has affected 118 people and killed 95.