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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 November 2005, 06:35 GMT
Indonesia confirms bird flu death
Workers weigh chickens at a farm in Jakarta, Indonesia
The woman reportedly contracted the disease from chickens
A 19-year-old woman has died of bird flu in Indonesia, raising the total death toll to five, officials say.

The woman's nephew, who lived with her in Jakarta, has also been confirmed as suffering from the virus.

Indonesia now has nine confirmed cases, and health officials fear that a nurse involved in the care of the latest casualty may have caught it too.

The announcement comes as the World Bank plans to provide up to $500m to help poor countries fighting bird flu.

It also comes a day after new major outbreaks of bird flu were reported among poultry in China and Vietnam.

The deadly H5N1 virus has already spread from South East Asia to birds in Turkey, Romania and Croatia.

It has killed millions of birds across Asia, and millions more have been culled in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

At least 60 people have also died of the disease, since its resurgence at the end of 2003.

There are fears the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily between people.

In Europe, 28 countries are due to stage a surprise exercise before the end of the year to test their ability to cope with a possible bird flu pandemic among humans.

Hong Kong tests

The latest fatality in Indonesia was a 19-year-old woman from the town of Tangerang, near the capital, Jakarta, said Ministry of Health official Hariadi Wibisono.

Principally an avian disease, first seen in humans in Hong Kong in 1997
Almost all human cases thought to be contracted from birds
Possible cases of human-to-human transmission in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam, but none confirmed

He said the woman was believed to have contracted the disease from infected dead chickens.

Hariadi Wibisono also said that the dead woman's eight-year-old nephew was a confirmed case, and was being treated in hospital.

The health official added that the new cases had been confirmed by a laboratory in Hong Kong.

One of the nurses who tended to the woman who died is now in an isolation ward in Jakarta after showing similar symptoms.

Doctors are waiting for the results of tests before they can confirm that she is suffering from the deadly H5N1 virus.

The H5N1 strain remained largely in South-East Asia until this summer, when Russia and Kazakhstan both reported outbreaks
Scientists fear it may be carried by migrating birds to Europe and Africa but say it is hard to prove a direct link with bird migration
EU has banned the import of captive live birds

Hear about the latest outbreak of birdflu

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