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H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

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The Ministry of Health has urged citizens to exercise increased caution for H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. Hong Menea

H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam.

In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series of calls to citizens to inform them to wear protective clothing and avoid coming into contact with chickens and ducks.

It also advised people to wash their bodies and especially their hands regularly with soap.

In the post, the department instructed anyone to report any cases of poultry found ill or dead to emergency number 115.

“They must not consume them. They must bury them properly to avoid infections, especially from bird flu.

“We may be facing the coronavirus, but we cannot let that stop our vigilance against H5N1 that is currently spreading in the southern provinces of Vietnam,” the department said.

The post urged anyone who wanted more information to also call 115.

CDC department director Ly Sovann said during a lecture at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday that although Cambodia is yet to receive information on the extent of the spread of the bird flu, people should still take the necessary measures to avoid and prevent it.

He said the government had many methods to monitor and stop the spread of bird flu, and immediately acts when it receives any information that there is ill or dead poultry. But people have to collaborate with the efforts and report it as soon as possible.

“I wish to inform brothers and sisters that when seeing ill or dead chickens or ducks, please burn or bury them. Do not cook them. If you eat them, you may get the virus, and that virus might transmit from human to human and to other poultry. Bear in mind that H5N1 is very contagious,” he said.

Sovann said bird flu symptoms included fever, coughing, and difficulties in breathing due to severe lung inflammation.

A document from the World Health Organisation said bird flu infections were transmitted when touching the nasal mucus, saliva and faeces of ill or dead animals that had H5N1.

The document further said that bird flu could be easily transmitted from human to human, with the ability to spread like seasonal colds if it evolves.

According to a report from the CDC department, between 2005 and 2014 there were 56 cases of bird flu being transmitted to humans in Cambodia, of which 37 were fatal.

Twenty-six of those cases came in 2013, of which 14 were fatal. In 2014, there were nine cases of people infected with bird flu, of which four were fatal.

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