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Avian Flu Updates

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From the’s Avian Flu News Tracker:

Chinese Health Minister Gao Qiang defended the government against accusations of a cover-up of bird-flu cases. “I am not afraid of local governments in China covering up an epidemic situation,” Mr. Gao said. “What I am afraid of is the low level of competency and technical expertise of hospitals, clinics and medical personnel at the grassroots level.” He said he is “worried about the inability of our medical and quarantine personnel at the local level to diagnose and discover epidemics in a timely fashion due to their low abilities and relatively backward equipment.”


Indonesian tests confirmed that a 25-year-woman who died overnight in Jakarta had bird flu, officials said, as they investigated the possibility that several members of one family were infected by the virus. Dr. Ilham Patu said the government would wait to update its human bird-flu death toll, which now stands at seven, until the woman’s lab tests were confirmed by a WHO-accredited laboratory in Hong Kong. That could take several days.


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