Published On: Tue, Aug 13th, 2013

Cambodia reports two more human cases of H5N1 avian influenza, brings total in country to 16 in 2013

The Cambodian Ministry of Health is reporting two additional human cases of avian influenza H5N1. These two cases are number 15 and 16 reported in the Kingdom so far this year.

According to the Ministries news release, The 15th case, a 9-year-old boy from Damnak Dangkor Village, Raing Kesey commune, Sang Ke district in Battambang province was confirmed positive for human H5N1 avian influenza on 9th August 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.

The boy developed fever and vomiting on 26th July. He was given home-treatment by a health centre staff. On 2nd August, his condition became worse and his parents took him to a private clinic in Battambang. The private clinic referred him to the Battambang Provincial Hospital the same day. On 4th August, he was transferred to the Jayavarman V11 Hospital in Siem Reap with fever, cough, vomit, abdominal pain and dyspnea and treated with Tamiflu on 9th August. The boy is currently in a stable condition.

The 16th case is a 5-year-old girl from Knong Prek Village , Prey Koy commune, Saang district in Kandal province. She was confirmed for the virus on Aug.10 by the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.

She developed a fever on Aug. 1 when her parents sought treatment. The next day she was taken to a private clinic when her condition worsened and was admitted to KanthaBopha Hospital. She was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in critical condition.

Investigation reveals the boy had contact with sick poultry. In the girl’s case, cases of dead poultry have been reported from the village.

Excerpt from the Joint statement from Cambodian MOH and the WHO

Excerpt from the Joint statement from Cambodian MOH and the WHO







Of the 37 confirmed cases since 2004, 26 were children under 14, and 22 of the 37 were female. In addition, only 7 cases out of the 16 cases this year survived.

According to the WHO, the H5N1 virus subtype  (different from the H7N9 strain circulating in the current China outbreak)   – a highly pathogenic AI virus- first infected humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong SAR, China. Since its widespread re-emergence in 2003 and 2004, this avian virus has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, resulting in millions of poultry infections, several hundred human cases, and many human deaths.

H5N1 avian influenza Image/CDC

H5N1 avian influenza

The case fatality rate for H5N1 virus infections in people is much higher compared to that of seasonal influenza infections.

Clinically, in many patients, the disease caused by the H5N1 virus follows an unusually aggressive clinical course, with rapid deterioration and high fatality. Like most emerging disease, H5N1 influenza in humans is poorly understood.

The incubation period for H5N1 avian influenza may be longer than that for normal seasonal influenza, which is around two to three days. Current data for H5N1 infection indicate an incubation period ranging from two to eight days and possibly as long as 17 days. WHO currently recommends that an incubation period of seven days be used for field investigations and the monitoring of patient contacts.

Initial symptoms include a high fever, usually with a temperature higher than 38oC, and other influenza-like symptoms. Diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums have also been reported as early symptoms in some patients.

One feature seen in many patients is the development of lower respiratory tract early in the illness. On present evidence, difficulty in breathing develops around five days following the first symptoms. Respiratory distress, a hoarse voice, and a crackling sound when inhaling are commonly seen. Sputum production is variable and sometimes bloody.

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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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  1. Cambodian boy becomes the 10th H5N1 bird flu death of the year - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow-up to a report last week, a 9-year-old boy from a village in northeastern Battambang province has died from avian […]

  2. Biological Hazard – Cambodia, MultiProvinces, [Provinces of Battambang, Kandal] : H5N1 – Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus | Family Survival Protocol - Microcosm News says:

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