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Bird flu claims 163rd fatality in Indonesia


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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A 31-year-old Indonesian woman has died of bird flu, bringing the death toll to 163 in the country hardest-hit by the virus, the Health Ministry said Monday.

The housewife from Bekasi Timur, a West Java district just east of Jakarta, died last week from the H5N1 bird flu virus, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

An investigation by the ministry found that the woman, who first developed symptoms of fever and nausea on Nov. 1, had possible contact with poultry around her house.

The woman died Nov. 11 when she was about to be transferred to special hospital assigned to treat bird flu, the ministry said.

She is the third Indonesian to die this year from the virus. The first two were a 2-year-old boy and a 28-year-old man, who died in June and September respectively in other districts of Bekasi.

A total of 195 people are known to have been sickened by bird flu in Indonesia since 2005.

Bird flu typically flares during the cooler winter months.

There have been more than 646 confirmed H5N1 cases worldwide since 2003, about 60 percent of them fatal.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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