Cambodia Records 2nd Human Case of Bird Flu So Far This Year

Chicken are seen on a truck at a market in Phnom Penh on January 25, 2013. Photo by TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP

PHNOM PENH -- A 69-year-old man from northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province has been confirmed for H5N1 human avian influenza, becoming the second case of this year, the country's Ministry of Health said in a statement on Sunday.

"The man was confirmed positive for H5N1 bird flu virus by the National Institute of Public Health on Saturday," the ministry said. "Currently, the patient is receiving intensive care from a team of doctors."

"According to queries, the man had raised 50-60 chicken and the chicken had subsequently died about two weeks ago," the ministry said.

A team of health experts is looking into the source of the infection and are examining any suspected cases or people who have been in contact with the victim in order to prevent an outbreak in the community, the ministry added.

Tamiflu (oseltamivir), an antiviral drug to prevent the bird flu from spreading, was also given out to people who had direct contact with the man, the ministry said.

It was the second case of 2024 after a 3-year-old boy from southeast Prey Veng province was confirmed positive for the virus on Thursday.

H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, and its symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and severe respiratory illness.

Bird flu still poses threat to people's health, especially children, the ministry said, calling on people not to eat ill or dead poultry and well cook the poultry.

From 2003 to date, there were 64 cases of human infection with H5N1 influenza, including 41 deaths in the Southeast Asian country, according to the ministry.

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