Two-year-old Cambodian girl dies from bird flu, Latest World News - The New Paper

Two-year-old Cambodian girl dies from bird flu

PHNOM PENH – A two-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, the Health Ministry said on Monday night, the second death recorded in the country in two days.

The World Health Organisation has called for vigilance after the virus was detected in mammals, but has stressed that the risk to humans is low.

The ministry said tests on Monday confirmed that the unnamed girl from eastern Prey Veng province had contracted H5N1.

On Sunday, the authorities said a 50-year-old man had died from the virus in neighbouring Svay Rieng province.

It is the third confirmed case in Cambodia in 2023 after an 11-year-old died in February, and the 59th recorded instance of bird flu since the virus hit the country two decades ago.

Some chickens died at the two-year-old child’s home, the Health Ministry said in a statement, adding that officials were investigating the case.

The disease typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact.

The ministry again urged villagers to be vigilant about H5N1, warning them not to eat unwell or dead poultry.

On Monday, officials said the virus was “still a threat to the health of people, especially children”.

Since late 2021, Europe has been gripped by its worst-ever outbreak of bird flu, with North and South America also experiencing severe outbreaks.

This has led to the culling of tens of millions of domestic poultry worldwide, many with the H5N1 strain.

The global outbreak is also responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of wild birds.

The recent detection of the disease in a number of mammals – including foxes, otters, minks, sea lions and even grizzly bears – has sparked concern that humans could be more at risk. - AFP