The Ministry of Health in China has confirmed their 21st case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case occurred in a 62-year-old male farmer from the northwestern province of Xinjiang. Initial tests on patient specimens produced negative results. As a precautionary measure, tests were repeated during July and August 2006 and eventually produced positive results, which were confirmed by the Ministry of Health.



An epidemiological investigation of the case was unable to uncover a history of exposure to dead or diseased birds. The man had no history of travel during the month prior to symptom onset. No recent poultry outbreaks have been reported in the vicinity of the man's home. Xinjiang Province had not previously reported a human case.



Of the 21 cases confirmed to date in China, 14 have been fatal.



The Ministry of Health in Indonesia has confirmed the country's 57th case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case is a 17-year-old male from a remote village in Garut district, West Java Province. He was hospitalized on Aug 9th. At the hospital, medical staff suspected H5N1 infection based on his respiratory symptoms and a history of exposure to dead poultry. Because of this suspicion, specimens were collected from the patient and sent for testing. Results were positive for H5N1 infection. The patient is presently recovering.



Of the 57 cases confirmed to date in Indonesia, 44 have been fatal.



The total number of human cases of H5N1 avian influenza worldwide are now counted at 238 on the basis of the above reports, with the number of fatalities reaching 139.