Eight-year-old dies of bird flu in Indonesia

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An eight-year-old girl in Indonesia has died of bird flu, the health ministry reported Thursday, in the country’s eighth fatal case this year. The girl from Karawang district in western Java died on July 3, three weeks after visiting a market and helping to carry slaughtered birds home, the ministry’s website reported. Indonesia is the nation hardest-hit by bird flu, with 157 other fatalities reported since 2003 out of 357 worldwide, according to the most recent World Health Organisation figures, which exclude the latest death. Bird flu, also known as the H5N1 virus, typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transmissible between humans.