25 January 2013
Two Cambodians have died from avian influenza (H5N1) in the past eight days.
The victims were a 15-year-old girl from Smao village, in the Prey Kabass district of Takeo province, and a 35-year-old man from Trapeang Sla village, in Kampong Speu province’s Kong Pisey district, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation said today.
The man was the 24th person in Cambodia to become infected with the H5N1 virus. All but three of the victims have died.
Fifteen of the 24 reported cases were children under the age of 14.
“Avian influenza is still a threat to the health of Cambodians, and children still seem to be the most vulnerable,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.
“I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry, discourage them from playing in areas where poultry stay and wash their hands often.
“If they have difficulty breathing, they should be brought to the nearest health facility.”
Ministry of Health rapid-response teams were identifying the latest victims’ close contacts, looking for any epidemiological link between the cases and initiating preventive treatment, Bunheng said.