Friday, April 5, 2013

MOH Cambodia & WHO: Tenth New Human Case of Avian Influenza H5N1 in Cambodia in 2013

Joint Press Release from the Ministry Of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO)
Phnom Penh, 4 April 2013

The 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 tenth case, a five-year-old boy from Boeung Tapream village, Sangkat Treuy Kors, Kampong Bay district in Kampot province was confirmed positive for influenza H5N1 on 2 April 2013 by Institut Pasteur du Cambodge.
He developed fever, convulsions and dyspnea on 27 March 2013. On 2h March, his mother bought some medicines from a local pharmacy for him. His condition worsened and on 29 March he was taken to the Treuy Kors Health Centre.

The boy was then referred to the Kampot Provincial Hospital the same day. On 31 March, his dyspnea worsened and he was sent to the Kantha Bopha Hospital in Phnom Penh. In Kantha Bopha Hospital, the boy has been treated with Tamiflu. He is currently in a critical condition.

It is not known whether the boy had direct contact with poultry. The boy is the tenth person this year and the 31st person to become infected with the H5N1 virus in Cambodia. Of the 31 confirmed cases, 21 were children under 14, and 19 of the 30 were female.

"Avian influenza H5N1 remains a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians,” said H.E. Dr. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health. “This is the tenth case of H5N1 infection in humans this year. 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 with poultry. 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 poultry.”

The Ministry of Health's Rapid Response Teams (RRT) are currently in the village to identify the boy’s close contacts, any epidemiological linkage among the 10 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.

The Government's message is - wash hands often; keep children away from poultry; keep poultry away from living areas; do not eat dead or sick poultry; and all poultry eaten should be well cooked.


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