8th flu death triggers fears in Cambodia over possible bird flu outbreak

Fourth Estate Cooperative Staff

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (4E) – Cambodian authorities on Tuesday expressed concern over a possible bird flu outbreak after the disease claimed its eighth fatality, taking the life of a 35-year-old man from the northeastern province of Kampong Cham.

Deputy Head of the Health Ministry’s Disease Surveillance Bureau, Ly Sovann, confirmed that the man died from H5N1 virus in a Phnom Penh hospital on Monday.

The man had reportedly eaten two ducks before he got sick and admitted to the hospital earlier this month.

“We are really worried about the situation because in just two months we have nine cases of bird flu,” Ly Sovann told the press.

He added that eight people have died so far out of nine that have been reported so far this year. “There was a lot of dead poultry, but the people did not report to officials. In the villages that I went to, almost all poultry had died,” Ly Sovann said, adding that this prompted them to cull thousands of chickens and ducks in and around the province earlier this year.

Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan, a World Health Organization spokesman, said that the world body has increased surveillance for bird flu in provinces where the disease had first been detected.

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