The Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation yesterday confirmed in a joint statement that an 11-year-old girl from Kampong Cham province has died of respiratory complications resulting from bird flu.
The statement, released yesterday, said the girl from Kbal Au village, in Kampong Cham’s Steung Trang district, died on March 31 after contracting human avian influenza virus H5N1.
The girl is the 14th person in Cambodia to become infected with the H5N1 virus and the 12th to die from complications of the disease, it read.
Ly Sovann, head of the health ministry’s department of infectious diseases, told The Post that: “The 11-year-old girl got the virus by touching dead chickens and ducks.
“After we studied [the case] we found that the village where she lived had a lot of chickens and ducks that died.”
According to the statement, the girl became sick on March 22. She was initially treated by local villagers with no effect and was admitted to a local hospital on March 29. She was later referred to Jayavarma VII hospital in Siem Reap, where she died within four hours of admission on March 31.
The statement continued that samples that were sent to Institute Pasteur du Cambodge and later tested positive for H5N1.
“Avian influenza H5H1 is still a threat to the health of Cambodians, early identification of potential patients is the fastest way of ensuring they can have correct treatment,” the statement quoted Health Minister Mom Bun Heng as saying.
Ly Sovann said that 31 people had touched the girl, but none of them had been infected with the virus.