Saturday, November 26, 2005

News - Indonesia reports 12th case of bird flu - Breaking News - World - Breaking News

A 16-year-old Indonesian boy has tested positive for the H5N1 avian flu virus, making him the 12th confirmed case among humans in the country, a health official says.

"We have received a laboratory test from Hong Kong and the results were positive," said Hariadi Wibisono, a seniorofficial at the Health Ministry, adding the patient was being treated at a hospital in Bandung in West Java province.

Indonesia has had seven confirmed deaths from bird flu and now five cases where sufferers have survived.

Indonesia plans to begin making the anti-viral drug Tamiflu in three to five months, the government said.

Preparing for a possible upsurge in cases, Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said the government would likely appoint state-owned drugs firms PT Kimia Farma and PT Indofarma to make Tamiflu, which can be used to treat the disease.

"In three to five months production will start," Supari told a news conference.

"Our decision for us to produce ... is to meet the needs of the government in facing the avian flu outbreak."

The distributor of Tamiflu, Swiss giant Roche AG, said on Friday it did not have a patent for the medication in Indonesia, adding the country was free to make it for the local market.

Supari said the world's fourth most populous nation would soon obtain raw materials from China, India and South Korea.

Indonesia reports 12th case of bird flu - Breaking News - World - Breaking News

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