A Sukoharjo district health official said the death of a 14-year old girl a few weeks ago proved to have been caused by bird flu [avian influenza A (H5N1) virus infection]. "We can confirm that [the girl] died of bird flu a few weeks ago," the health official, Agus Prihatmo, said here on Saturday [17 Jul 2010].

He said samples of the girl's body fluids had been sent to the Health Ministry's laboratory in Jakarta for tests and the test results received in Sukoharjo only on Friday (16 Jul 2010) had shown that the junior high-school student was positively infected with the bird flu virus. He said it was so far not known where the virus came from. "We still don't know whether the virus originated in Menjing Polokarto, Sukoharjo or another region," he said. The victim, who was a resident of Menjing village had had contact with a dead chicken before. "At the time, she dumped a dead chicken in the backyard of her house," he said.

He said his office had taken preventive measures, especially at and around the victim's residence, after knowing the cause of her death.

Agus also appealed to the people to be alert to the possible spread of the virus and to improve cleanliness. "Have your health condition checked at the nearest health service center as soon as you have any symptoms," he said.