Aug 4, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An official from Indonesia’s health ministry recently confirmed that a 19-year-old man died from an H5N1 avian influenza infection.Nyoman Kandun, director general of communicable diseases at the health ministry, said the man died last week in a hospital west of Jakarta, according to an Aug 2 report from the Associated Press (AP).The man, a cargo worker, died in Tangerang, a suburb of Jakarta, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported yesterday. If his death and another reported last month are confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the man would be listed as Indonesia’s 137th H5N1 case and its 112th death.Media reports gave no details about the source of the man’s infection or whether his personal contacts have undergone medical evaluation.The confirmation of the man’s death by an Indonesian health official appears to deviate from the country’s recent policy of foregoing official announcement of H5N1 cases as they occur, opting instead for periodic updates. In early June, health minister Siti Fadilah Supari said the country would announce cases at longer intervals, perhaps as long as 6 months, according to previous reports.Though Indonesia’s stance appears to raise questions about its compliance with International Health Regulations, WHO officials have said its relationship with the country remains good and that the delay in reporting has not hampered the ability to conduct joint investigations into Indonesian H5N1 cases.Healthcare workers and family members alerted the media about Indonesia’s last H5N1 case, that of a 38-year-old man who reportedly died on Jul 10. However, a health ministry spokeswoman declined to confirm the case and said officials would release the information in an H5N1 case update at the end of July. No updates appear to have been posted on the government’s health ministry or avian influenza Web sites.Also, it’s not clear if Indonesia has notified the WHO about the two cases. The WHO has not yet confirmed the illness and death of either man, so for now the group still lists Indonesia’s case count as 135 cases and 110 deaths. Indonesia leads the world with the most H5N1 cases and fatalities.The WHO’s world H5N1 count stands at 385 human cases and 245 deaths.See also:Jun 5 CIDRAP News story “Indonesia quits offering prompt notice of H5N1 cases”
Topics : “We’ll be prioritizing the vulnerable populations,” Varela said at the Mexican president’s daily news conference, noting that the pricing, while still not final, was not expected to exceed $4 per dose. That could bring the cost of the first 150 million doses to $600 million.Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hailed the agreement as “good news” for Mexico, and said the vaccine would be distributed without cost in the country, which ranks third worldwide in number of fatalities.Lopez Obrador said he expected the country to still be suffering from the pandemic by the time the vaccine goes into production.Argentina’s president flagged the agreement with Mexico and AstraZeneca, Britain’s second-largest drugmaker, on Wednesday, noting that the initial supply is meant to reach all Latin America except Brazil. Production of 400 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for Latin America could begin early next year, an executive for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Plc said on Thursday, as the region’s coronavirus death toll stands at nearly 230,000.In partnership with the Mexican and Argentinean governments, AstraZeneca plans to initially produce 150 million doses, and eventually make at least 400 million for distribution throughout the region, said Sylvia Varela, head of AstraZeneca Mexico.Home to some 650 million people, Latin America has registered the world’s highest tallies for coronavirus cases and deaths, with Brazil and Mexico trailing only the United States in record numbers of fatalities. Brazil earlier this month committed $355 million to purchase and produce the AstraZeneca vaccine.The Mexico-Argentina plan, whose cost is unclear, has significant funding from the foundation of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. A spokesman declined to give a sum.Varela said Phase III trials taking place in the United States, South Africa, England and Brazil were expected to conclude by November or December, after which the company would seek government approvals.If granted, the company would then transfer technology to Argentina’s INSUD Group and Mexico’s Laboratorios Liomont at the end of the year, and begin manufacturing in the first quarter of 2021, she said.The active substance in the vaccine would be made in Argentina and sent to Mexico to be completed for distribution, Varela said.