An Indonesian newspaper, The Tempo, reported yesterday that one of its reporters who covered the extermination of infected poultry and the funeral of a flu victim near Jakarta had been hospitalized with flu symptoms; the newspaper did not report any test results.
Dick Thompson, a World Health Organization spokesman, said he knew nothing about the reporter who fell ill, but he said the agency was drafting safety guidelines for journalists. "Some of them are getting pretty close to cases," he said.
There have been several reports of Indonesian nurses' falling sick after tending avian flu victims, which could indicate that the virus was spreading more easily between humans. On June 6, the World Health Organization reported that tests on four such nurses had convincingly ruled out A(H5N1), the avian flu, and indicated that one had a seasonal flu, A(H1N1), instead.
Dr. Niman said convincing evidence could be obtained only from blood tests.
Mr. Thompson, who recently returned from Indonesia, said that he did not know how the nurses had been tested, but that he thought that Indonesian health authorities "are really on top of the human cases, investigating them aggressively," even though animal cases were spiraling out of control.