Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man succumbs to H1N1 virus

Man succumbs to H1N1 virus

Thirty-year-old Khun No lies on a hospital bed next to a respirator at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital last week after contracting the H1N1 virus. Photo supplied
Thirty-year-old Khun No lies on a hospital bed next to a respirator at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital last week after contracting the H1N1 virus. Photo supplied

Man succumbs to H1N1 virus

A 29-year-old journalist has become the first Cambodian to die from swine flu since the pandemic of 2009-10, with doctors saying he had not sought medical attention quickly enough.

Khun No, a cameraman for the Cambodian Television Network, died from lung failure caused by the H1N1 virus at Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital at about 4am yesterday.

Dr Chhoeung Yav Yen, deputy chief of the hospital, said that No could have been saved by earlier intervention.

“This patient, he got sick at his home long before he came to hospital,” said Yav Yen. “When he got to the hospital, his condition was already severe.”

However, the patient’s brother-in-law, Keut Phin, said that No only started showing symptoms on February 7. He went to a small clinic on February 13, didn’t get better, and checked into the Khmer-Soviet hospital on February 15.

Ministry of Health spokesman Dr Ly Sovann said yesterday that there was no sign of a swine flu outbreak and the ministry would not be taking any extraordinary measures.

On Sunday, Sovann maintained that H1N1 was considered a “normal” seasonal flu strain that hit about 100 Cambodians per year.

He urged people with flu symptoms – fever, coughing, soreness of the throat and muscles, and fatigue – to seek medical attention if they didn’t start recovering by the third day of illness.

Sovann added that H1N1 had started showing signs of drug resistance in other countries, but that resistance had not yet been detected in Cambodia.

World Health Organization spokeswoman Vicky Houssiere yesterday said that while flu is seasonal, it can occur irregularly throughout the year in tropical regions.

“Most people recover from fever and other symptoms within a week, but influenza can cause severe illness or death, especially in people at high risk,” Houssiere said.

“The highest risk of complications occur among children younger than age two years, adults aged 65 years or older, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain medical conditions or weakened immune systems.”

Phin said that No didn’t seem to have any problems with his immune system.

“He never got sick before [getting the swine flu],” he said.

Swine flu is mainly spread through tiny water droplets from coughing or sneezing, according to the Health Ministry. The 2009-10 swine flu pandemic saw close to 500 people infected in the Kingdom, with five deaths attributed to the illness.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement