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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 06:31 GMT
'Bird flu' kills boy in Indonesia
Work is under way worldwide to produce a bird flu vaccine
A boy aged eight has died of bird flu in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, the country's health ministry reports.

The World Health Organization has yet to confirm the cause of death which, if it is the H5N1 strain, would bring the country's death toll to 10.

Tests will be carried out at a WHO laboratory in Hong Kong which has dealt with previous Indonesian cases.

But Indonesian health official Hariadi Wibisono told reporters the child had tested positive for bird flu.

Besides the boy, Indonesia is awaiting confirmation on a man aged 39 who also died from the virus, according to local tests.

The virus has killed more than 70 people in Asia since it was identified in 2003, most of them in Vietnam and Thailand.

Some experts fear it could mutate into a form that is transmitted easily between humans, leading to a pandemic.

It was not immediately clear if the boy, who lived in a dense residential area of Jakarta, had had contact with sick birds.

"We are still investigating the source," Hariadi Wibisono said.

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