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Doctors fear bird flu outbreak

Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities fear an outbreak of avian influenza (H5N1) after a mother and her child died two weeks ago and seven more were hospitalised.

Samples taken from Prak Sophorn, 21, who died on February 13, and her 11-month old son, Sun Nga, who died on February 15, were sent to the World Health Organization for testing and results are expected soon.

“I am waiting for laboratory results to clarify the cause and hope to know by the end of the day,” Dr Nima Asgari, public health specialist at the WHO, said today.

Keo Sopheaktra, director of Banteay Meanchey province’s health department, said the mother and son became sick after eating infected chicken.

“They both had a fever, cough and difficulty breathing before they passed away.”

He said seven villagers who helped clean Prak Sophorn’s body for cremation have been admitted to the Mongkol Borei district hospital for treatment after each developed a fever and cough.

Director of the Mongkol Borei district hospital Ho Serey Vitthyu said the seven are recovering well.

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