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Cambodia 'preparing' for flu

Cambodia 'preparing' for flu

HEALTH officials said Thursday that there is no evidence of swine flu in Cambodia yet, but that the country must not become complacent as cases of the disease multiply rapidly worldwide.

"We've not yet seen this virus in Cambodia, but if and when it does [emerge], it will challenge the health system," said WHO  representative Dr Michael O'Leary.

"Cambodia has been preparing for some time and has a well-developed plan to respond to a pandemic," O'Leary added at a press conference organised by the government and WHO, which has stepped up its global alert, signalling that a pandemic is imminent.

The Ministry of Health said that, in addition to measures already put in place to detect suspicious flu cases, people travelling to Cambodia will now be required to fill out health declaration forms.

However, only 157,500 Tamiflu pills, the main treatment for the virus, have been stockpiled, according to the ministry.

Sok Touch, director of the Health Ministry's Communicable Disease Control Department, said that the ministry was continuing to work with the WHO, UNICEF and the UN to find ways to tackle the flu threat.

He also said the government welcomed a meeting of ASEAN health ministers later this month to discuss a regional response to the outbreak.

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