Padang hospital treats 27 bird flu suspects

Padang hospital treats 27 bird flu suspects

(ANTARA/Maril Gafur)

Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA News) - A total of 27 patients suspected of being infected by bird flu virus have been treated in M Jamil Public Hospital in Padang, West Sumatra Province, since January 2011.

Of the total number of patients, 24 were residents of Padang city, Gustavianof, a spokesman of M Jamil Hospital, said here Thursday.

"While patients from outside Padang, include one from Bukittinggi, another from Pesisir Selatan District, and another from Dharmasraya," he said.

Now, the two patients are still undergoing intensive treatment at the hospital.

"The hospital`s team of doctors is still diagnosing the two patients, who have just arrived intensively. One of them is currently improving," he said.

The hospital has taken blood samples from the two patients and sent them to the laboratory to confirm whether they are negative or positive of bird flu virus infection.

"The hospital is still waiting for the result of laboratory blood tests from the health ministry`s Health Development and Research Agency (Balitbangkes)," Gustafianof said.

The hospital still has an ample stock of tamiflu, he said. Besides, tamiflu, the hospital has also received masks and special outfits for bird flu suspect patients.

In 2009, the hospital had treated nine bird flu suspect cases, and seven cases in 2010. One patient had died while being treated in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Bengkulu Province is still on alert of bird flu as H5N1 virus cases have been reported in many other regions in the province, a local official said.

"Although the number of bird flu cases does not increase, Bengkulu is still cautious of bird flu, and we ask the local residents to monitor their poultry," Emran Kuswadi, Coordinator of Local Disease Control Center (LDCC), said in Bengkulu, last Tuesday (29/3).

Up to now, a total of 1,881 chickens had been killed by the bird flu virus, according to Emran.

Seven districts and cities have been particularly declared bird flu alert, namely Bengkulu, Seluma, Lebong, Bengkulu Tengah, Kepahiang, Kaur and Rejang Lebong districts.