Thanks to Lenn Sisson for sending the following story, which is based on his own investigation:
Indonesian Bird Flu Survivor May Have Lost Two Sisters to the Disease
By Lenn Sisson
A 15-year-old girl from Solok, West Sumatra, Indonesia, who survived bird flu last month, may also have lost two sisters to the disease, according to recent information released by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The girl, who is believed to have contracted the disease after coming into contact with a sick chicken on May 9, had two sisters who worked in a restaurant in Lampung. The restaurant served chickens that were slaughtered in house, according to WHO spokeswoman Sari Setiogi.
“One of them (the sisters) got sick and was showing flu-like symptoms,” Setiogi said. “She died on Sunday, May 14.”
Setiogi said that while the other sister became ill while returning the body of the sister who died on May 14, to Solok for burial. She was hospitalized in Solok showing flu-like symptoms, and died on Monday, May 22.
No tests were conducted for either of these two sisters, so it is unknown if they actually had the H5N1 virus. However, the WHO is treating both cases as though it were bird flu.
According to Setiogi, WHO staff have followed up both cases to ensure that the virus has not spread beyond the two sisters. “Investigations have been done in both Solok and Lampung,” she said. “Contact tracing showed no one was sick, and about 25 people were tested in both places. All samples returned negative.”