Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cambodia - Six-year-old Cambodian girl dies from bird flu

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA -  A six-year-old girl died from bird flu in central Cambodia late last week, the country's health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Monday. It is the second bird flu death in the country so far this year.

The Cambodian Health Ministry said 6-year-old Noy Makara of the Kampong Tralach district in Kampong Chhnang province had fallen ill on March 22 after eating the meat of a sick chicken. Her family initially attempted to treat her with medicine and injections, but the girl's condition continued to worsen.

"She did not get better and her family sent her for treatment at the Kuntha Bopha hospital on March 28," Morm Malay, deputy director of the provincial health department, told the Phnom Penh Post. He said the victim died on Friday, and hospital tests confirmed she had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

Friday's bird flu fatality is the second in Cambodia so far this year, following the death of a 2-year-old boy in northwestern Banteay Meanchey province in early January. The latest death is the first ever confirmed case of H5N1 influenza in Kampong Chhnang province.

Since 2003, the H5N1 bird flu virus has killed or forced the culling of more than 400 million domestic poultry and caused an estimated USD 20 billion of economic damage across the globe before it was eliminated from most of the 63 infected countries.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the bird flu virus has infected 595 people since it first appeared, killing 351 of them. Most cases and deaths were recorded in Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt and China. Cambodia registered a total of eight fatal cases of human infection in 2011. (BNO News)

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