Cambodian girl dies of H5N1 bird flu

An 11-year-old girl from southeast Cambodia´s Prey Veng province had died of H5N1 human avian influenza, the Ministry of Health´s Communicable Disease Control Department said Wednesday.

The girl fell ill on Feb. 16, with the symptoms of a high temperature of 39 degrees Celsius, cough and sore throat, the department said in a news release, adding that she first sought local health service, but her condition had worsened, having rapid breathing, so she was then transferred to the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh.

"On Feb. 21, the doctor took her samples for diagnosis at the National Institute of Public Health and the results came out on Feb. 22, confirming that she was positive for H5N1 bird flu, while the girl died," the news release said.

The news release called on people not to touch ill or dead poultry and if suspected of having been infected with the virus, they should consult with doctors or make a hotline call to 115.

H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO said from 2003 until 2014, there were 56 cases of infected humans and 37 people died in Cambodia. However, between 2015 and 2022, no humans were infected by the virus in the country.