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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

Cambodia reports 13th H5N1 bird flu case of 2013 in six-year-old child

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health is reporting one more human case of H5N1 avian influenza, according to a Joint news release of the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia and World Health Organization July 2.

H5N1 avian influenza Image/CDC

H5N1 avian influenza
Image/CDC

The case is a six-year-old girl from Preyleu village, Bantheay Meas commune, Bantheay Meas district in Kampot province was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on 28th June 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.

She developed fever and headache on 24th June. On 26th June her condition worsened with cough and dyspnea and she was taken to a private clinic. On 28th June, the girl was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, dyspnea and cough. In Kantha Bopha Hospital, the girl was treated with Tamiflu but died later in the night.

Investigation into the case reveals there have been recent poultry deaths in the village and the girl was likely to be exposed to sick and dead poultry before she became sick.

This is 13th case this year and the 34th person to become infected with the H5N1 virus in Cambodia. Of the 34 confirmed cases, 23 were children under 14, and 21 of the 34 were female. In addition, there were only 4 cases out of 13 cases this year survived, according to the release.

“Avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians. This is the 13th case of H5N1 infection in humans this year. Children also seem to be most vulnerable and are at high risk because they like to play where poultry are found. I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and prevent them from playing with chickens and ducks.

“Parents and guardians must also make sure children wash their hands with soap and water after any contact with poultry. If they have fast or difficult breathing, they should seek medical attention at the nearest health facility and attending physicians must be made aware of any exposure to sick or dead poultry,” said H.E. Dr. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health.

H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans. Human H5N1 avian influenza is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization. Although the virus currently does not easily spread among humans, if the virus changes it could easily be spread like seasonal influenza. Hence, early recognition of cases is important.

Globally since 2003, there have been 632 laboratory confirmed human cases of H5N1 avian influenza with 376 related deaths.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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