4 Indonesians die of bird flu; toll climbs to 119

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A government official says four Indonesians have died of bird flu, bringing the death toll in the country hardest hit by the disease to 119.

Bayu Krisnamurthi, chief of the National Bird Flu Commission, said Tuesday the victims died in January and February. They were all believed to have been infected by sick chickens.

Indonesia has been worst affected by bird flu since it started ravaging Asian poultry stocks in late 2003, accounting for nearly half the 256 human fatalities tallied worldwide. It used to announce deaths immediately, but has come under fire in recent months for keeping quiet about new cases. – AP
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