Joint Press Release from the Ministry Of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO)
Phnom Penh, 27 February 2013The
Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Kingdom of Cambodia wishes to advise
members of the public that one more new human case of avian influenza
has been confirmed positive for the H5N1 virus.
The ninth case, a
35-year-old man from Kbal Ou village, Me Sar Chrey commune, Stueng
Trang district in Kampong Cham province, was confirmed positive for
influenza H5N1 on 23 February 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.
developed fever on 8 February 2013 and his condition worsened on 10
February 2013 with fever, frequent cough, and dyspnea. Local private
practitioners initially treated him but his condition further
On 13 February he was admitted to the Kampong Cham Hospital with
fever, severe cough and dyspnea and was immediately treated with
Tamiflu. He developed pneumonia on 21 February and was transferred to
Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, despite intensive
medical care he died on 25 February.
There is evidence of recent
deaths among poultry in the village and the man had history of coming
into contact with sick poultry prior to becoming sick. The man is the
ninth person this year and the 30th person to become infected with the
H5N1 virus, and the 27th person to die from complications of the disease
Of the 30 confirmed cases, 20 were children under 14, and 19 of the 30 were female.
"Avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious threat to the health of all
Cambodians. This is the ninth case of H5N1 infection in humans this
year,” said HE Dr. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health.
risk of exposure to the virus is through the handling and slaughter of
infected poultry. Home slaughtering and preparation of sick or dead
poultry for food is hazardous: this practice must stop. 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
“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
The Ministry of Health's Rapid Response Teams (RRT)
have gone to the hospitals and the field to identify the man’s close
contacts, any epidemiological linkage among the nine cases and initiate
preventive treatment as required. In addition, a public health education
campaign is being conducted in the village to inform families on how to
protect themselves from contracting avian influenza.
Government's message is - wash hands often; keep children away from
poultry; keep poultry away from living areas; do not eat sick poultry;
and all poultry eaten should be well cooked.
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.
The Ministry of Health will continue to keep the public informed of developments via the MoH website www.cdcmoh.gov.kh where relevant health education materials can also be downloaded.
more information on human influenza please call the MoH Influenza
Hotline numbers: 115 (free call); 012 488 981 or 089 669 567
Please also see attachments below, in English and Khmer.