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Fatality in year’s ninth bird flu case

Fatality in year’s ninth bird flu case

A two-year-old girl from Kampot province confirmed to have the ninth case of avian influenza this year died on Friday, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday.

The toddler from Banteay Meas district was admitted to a private clinic on March 10 after developing a fever two days earlier, then transferred to Kantha Bopha Hospital on the 13th, according to the press release.

“At the end of February and beginning of March, it is estimated that 90 per cent of poultry in the village died. The girl had direct contact with dead chickens while her relatives prepared them for food and the girl ate them,” the release states.

On Friday, lab results confirmed she had H5N1.

The girl arrived at hospital in weak condition, Dr Denis Laurent, a spokesman for Kantha Bopha hospital, said yesterday.

“She died within 24 hours after arriving in hospital. We administered Tamiflu following all the usual protocol on March 13, but she also had pneumonia, so the child sickened very fast.”

WHO spokeswoman Vicky Houssiere said that during the same period last year, 12 cases of avian influenza were recorded.

“The virus is still circulating in poultry, so we’re expecting to continue seeing cases like this in humans,” she said.

At least 22 cases of bird flu were recorded by the Ministry of Health last year, the most of any year on record.

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