Lifestyle & Belief

Cambodia bird flu death is fifth fatality this year


Staff wearing protective clothing cull chickens in a Sham Shui Po market after the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus was found in samples collected from the market's poultry stalls in Hong Kong, on June 7, 2008. The United Nations warned on August 29, 2011 that avian flu shows signs of a resurgence, and a mutant strain could be spreading in China and Vietnam.



A 5-year-old girl is the fifth person to die from bird flu in Cambodia this year.

The girl, from the southern province of Takeo, died in a hospital Thursday after developing symptoms in late January, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

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Tests confirmed she was infected with the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, according to Agence France-Presse.

Only one of Cambodia's six victims of the virus this year has survived.

The country reported three bird flu cases in 2012, all of them fatal, The Associated Press reported.

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Cambodian Minister of Health Mam Bunheng told The Phnom Penh Post the disease is hitting children particularly hard.

Bird flu has killed 365 people worldwide since 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

It typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, although authorities are worried it could mutate into a virus easily tranmissible between humans, AFP reported.

A voluntary moratorium was placed on bird flu research last year following bioterrorism fears. Scientists in many countries —a major exception being the United States — lifted the moratorium just last month.