Recombinomics Commentary 22:37
February 24, 2009

A doctor (anesthesiologist) and 4 paramedics of Dr Sutomo hospital Surabaya were quarantined due to bird flu-like symptoms on early February.

This is right after one Surabaya bird flu victim (St/18 ) was treated in that hospital. Further test revealed that the doctor and one of paramedic tested negative bird flu infection.

Up to last Sunday (22/2), three other paramedics are still in critical condition.

The above comments, from the Bird Flu Information Corner website raise additional concerns of unreported human to human H5N1 transmissions in Indonesia. The above health care workers are associated with the same facility where an H5N1 confirmed patient died in late January (see updated map). Although this is not an official case, hospital personal indicate H5N1 was confirmed, even though the patient did not have a history of contact with poultry.

If the patient and health care workers are H5N1 infected, they would represent one of the largest H5N1 clusters in Indonesia reported to date. Health care workers are rarely infected with H5H1 because they are aware of hazards H5N1 infected patients prevent. Moreover, they are quickly treated, so they rarely progress to a critical state. The report of three health workers in critical condition is alarming.

More information on the status of these patients and test results would be useful.