JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia averaged one human bird flu death every 2 1/2 days in May, putting it on pace to soon surpass Vietnam as the world’s hardest-hit country. The latest death, announced Wednesday, was a 15-year-old boy whose preliminary tests were positive for the H5N1 virus. It comes as international health officials express growing frustration that they must fight Indonesia’s bureaucracy as well as the disease. ‘We’re tying to fix this leak in the roof, and there’s a storm,’ World Health Organization spokesman Dick Thompson said. ‘The storm is that the virus is in animals almost everywhere and the lack of effective attention that’s being addressed to the problem.’ Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands with a population of 220 million people, has a patchwork of local, regional and national bureaucracies that often send mixed messages. The impression, health officials said, is often that no one is truly at the helm. ‘I don’t think anyone can understand it unless you come here and see it for yourself,’ said Steven Bjorge, a WHO epidemiologist in Jakarta. ‘The amount of decentralization here is breathtaking.’ He said Health Ministry officials often meet with outside experts to formulate […]

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