Another Child Succumbs to Avian Influenza

A worker carries chickens at a market in Phnom Penh on February 24, 2023. Photo: AFP

PHNOM PENH—The Ministry of Health announced on February 9th the death of a nine-year-old boy from the H5N1 bird flu virus.

Residing in Kapo 1 village, Or Russey commune, Kratie Province, the young boy passed away despite the efforts of medical professionals, as detailed in the Health Ministry’s press release.

"Despite the care and efforts of our medical team, the child's condition rapidly deteriorated, marked by fever, respiratory distress, coughing, and ultimately, loss of consciousness. Regrettably, he passed away on February 8, 2024," the statement stated, underscoring the child died a day after the National Institute of Public Health confirmed he was infected with the H5N1 virus.

It continued with a note on the situation at the boy's residence, where five chickens and three ducks succumbed to the same fate. Disturbingly, the poultry were consumed following their demise.

In response, the Ministry's emergency task force, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Environment, and local authorities, has mobilized to investigate the outbreak, striving to contain its reach and understand its origins.

This is the fourth death case since 2023. The first case involved the death of an 11-year-old girl in Kandal Province, the second case involved a two-year-old girl in Prey Veng, and the third case involved a 50-year-old man, also in Prey Veng.

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