Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cambodian girl dies from bird flu: WHO

PHNOM PENH — A five-year-old Cambodian girl has become the fifth person to die from bird flu in the country this year, officials said on Thursday.

The child, from southeastern Prey Veng province, died on April 16, the health ministry and the World Health Organisation said in a joint statement. Tests confirmed she had contracted H5N1 avian influenza.

The girl is the 15th person in Cambodia known to have become infected with the H5N1 virus and the 13th to die from complications of the disease since 2003, according to the statement.

"Compared to last year, we have seen more H5N1 cases this year and children appear to be most vulnerable. I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry," said Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bun Heng.

All five of Cambodia's bird flu cases since January have been fatal. Four of the victims were children.

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza has killed 320 people worldwide since 2003, the statement said.


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