Indonesia confirms 24th human death from bird flu

International tests have confirmed an Indonesian man who died earlier this month had bird flu, bringing the country’s death toll from the virus to 24.

Investigations were being carried out to confirm the source of the infection, said senior health ministry official Hariadi Wibisono.

The 24-year-old man died in an infectious diseases hospital in the capital, Jakarta, on April 8, he said.

The number of human bird flu cases in Indonesia now stands at 32, with 24 fatalities, the second highest after Vietnam, according to the World Health Organisation.

The H5N1 virus has killed 110 people in nine countries, mostly in Asia, according to tally maintained by WHO.

Health experts say it remains difficult for humans to catch H5N1, but they fear the virus could mutate into a form more easily transmitted among people and set off a flu pandemic that could kill millions worldwide.

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