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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Swine flu kills two victims in three days in Phnom Penh

Swine flu kills two victims in three days in Phnom Penh

Mother in labour is latest victim; doctors monitoring newborn.

TWO more Cambodians have died of the influenza A(H1N1) virus at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital since the start of the week, according to government health officials.

Minister of Health Mam Bunheng confirmed Wednesday that Duch Sokunthea, 25, died from the virus on Tuesday afternoon, two days after undergoing a caesarian section to complete her seven-month pregnancy.

He said the baby, which remains at the hospital, was under close examination from doctors. “We have now had three cases of fatalities” from the virus, said Mam Bunheng, although he declined to elaborate further.

Sok Touch, director of the Communicable Diseases Control Department at the Ministry of Health, said on Monday afternoon that Chuon Vanthan, a 41-year-old man from Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district, also died from the virus, more commonly known as swine flu.

Sok Touch also declined to reveal additional details about the deaths, saying the ministry and the World Health Organisation would issue a joint press statement shortly.

Cambodia’s first confirmed fatality from swine flu was a 41-year old woman, who succumbed to the disease on September 27 after it was first detected in Cambodia in June. Health officials have warned about the symptoms associated with the disease, advising people to immediately report any suspicious signs to authorities.

Nima Asgari, a public health specialist at the WHO, said that through October 2, some 120 cases of the virus had been identified and confirmed in the Kingdom, but expected the real figure to be greater, since some patients have likely not reported their symptoms. “I don’t think Cambodia at the moment is different from the rest of the world,” he said.

The relatives of the two swine flu victims declined to comment on Tuesday, as funeral ceremonies were held in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district for the man and at Phnom Penh’s Wat Koh for the woman.



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