Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two avian flu outbreaks in northwest

Two avian flu outbreaks in northwest

A man walks past ducks at Phnom Penh’s O’Russey Market. A World Organisation for Animal Health report has said nearly 9,000 ducks in the Kingdom are susceptible to avian flu after a recent outbreak.
A man walks past ducks at Phnom Penh’s O’Russey Market. A World Organisation for Animal Health report has said nearly 9,000 ducks in the Kingdom are susceptible to avian flu after a recent outbreak. Hong Menea

Two avian flu outbreaks in northwest

Two outbreaks of H5N1 avian flu have hit thousands of ducks in Siem Reap and Battambang provinces, according to data from the World Organisation for Animal Health published on Monday.

About 2,100 infected ducks died in Battambang and 180 more in Siem Reap as of November 12, according to the organisation’s report. Currently, 8,800 ducks in the country remain susceptible to the illness.

The infected birds came from free-ranging backyard flocks.

“After having been informed by the owners that their duck flocks were sick and were dying, the district and provincial veterinary services went there to investigate and took some samples,” the report reads. “The result of test samples were confirmed positive with H5N1.”

The latest outbreaks have yet to spread to human patients, according to Ly Sovann, director of the Health Ministry’s Department of Communicable Disease Control.

“We sent our response teams yesterday to monitor the human health of those who live in or near the affected areas,” Sovann said. “Up to now, they collected five suspected human samples but all were negative.”

The last detected human case of H5N1 avian flu in Cambodia was in March, said Sovann. The Ministry of Agriculture has not yet given a reason for these latest outbreaks.

At least 100 ducks remain sick in Siem Reap’s Puok district, according to district animal health official Marn Cheb. They were among the 6,500 ducks who arrived from Banteay Meanchey’s Mongkol Borei district on Sunday.

“After arriving in Puok district, some ducks started to get sick and some of them died. Seeing the ducks dead, the owner separated the sick ducks to a separate cage, then informed the district officials,” Cheb said.

Prum Vich, chief of the Agriculture Ministry’s animal health and production office in Siem Reap, said that the ducks were transported to the district under heat and heavy rain, and the sick ducks will be buried to prevent the disease spread.

“The flu cannot spread to humans if we know how to prevent it correctly,” he said.

Agriculture Ministry officials in Battambang were not available for comment yesterday.

According to Sovann, H5N1 is a “high-mortality” disease, which killed five people out of a total of nine cases in 2014.

The World Health Organization found that in human cases, the mortality rate hovers at around 60 per cent.

Nonetheless, the disease has “limited transmission”, Sovann said. People become infected by eating sick birds or touching contaminated surfaces.

“If any people cough or have a sore throat, please visit a health centre or hospital and inform them about the history of contact” with sick birds, said Sovann.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the