Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang
Parents of a Tangerang toddler confirmed to have been infected with avian influenza forced the hospital Wednesday to discharge their child, the hospital director said.
Sardikin Giriputro of Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital said there was nothing the hospital could do because the parents of the three-year-old boy insisted on taking their child home.
"The boy is recovering but is still receiving treatment for the (avian influenza) infection," Sardikin said as quoted by news portal Tempointeraktif.
The hospital, Sardikin said, had immediately contacted Tangerang Health Agency and a health clinic near the boy's house that will keep monitoring him and take necessary measures to ensure his recovery.
"We also have a team that can be alerted at anytime to back up the local agency and the clinic," he said.
The boy is a resident of Suka Asih village in Pasar Kemis, Tangerang. He reportedly suffered a high fever on Oct. 22 and was later admitted to the hospital.
Yuliah Iskandar, a local health official, said Tuesday a field examination and interview found the boy's family had raised chickens in their backyard that had recently died from an unknown illness.
A team of officials tasked with finding the source of the H5N1 virus have examined blood samples from 20 people who had recent contact with the boy.
The boy's father, Ahmad, who works as scrap metal trader, declined to be interviewed by journalists.
Darman, a member of staff at the nearby health clinic, confirmed Ahmad had taken his son home from the hospital.
"They believe their son is recovered, so there is no need to keep him longer at the hospital," he said.
"We will monitor the boy's condition closely for at least two weeks."
The H5N1 virus killed two children in Tangerang in October; a 13-year-old boy, who died on Oct. 13 and a four-year-old girl, who died on Oct. 22.
Nationwide, there have been 110 confirmed cases of bird flu in humans, 87 of which have been fatal.