Avian Influenza Found in Kandal Province

An outbreak of avian influenza has been detected in Kandal prov­ince just south of Phnom Penh, Ministry of Agriculture officials said Sunday, days after officials declared that a Kampot province woman was the country’s first death from the deadly virus.

Agriculture officials took samples from 12 chickens on Thurs­day in Krapeu Har village in Takh­mau district’s Prek Russei commune, after villagers reported the deaths of 30 chickens last week, Suon Sothoeun, deputy di­rector of Animal Health and Pro­duction, said Sunday.

“After the samples were tested, the results showed positive for H5N1 in two chickens on Friday,” he said.

Suon Sothoeun said that the chickens came from a family farm.

“The villagers informed our officials very fast because they are aware of the bird flu,” he said.

On Friday, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization officially declared that Tit Sakhan, 25, from Kampot province, died from bird flu, based on Vietnamese test results known since last Tuesday.

She died in Vietnam on Jan 30.

“Tests…were positive for influ­en­za A/H5, providing clear evidence that she had been infected with an influenza strain of avian origin,” read a joint statement by the Ministry of Health and the WHO. Tests cannot confirm whe­ther the wo­man’s brother also died of the disease.

Dr Megge Miller, WHO’s in-country adviser on bird flu, said Sunday that investigators are continuing to interview residents in Kampot province’s Koh Chamkar village and that no more suspicious cases have been found.

Suon Sothoeun said that based on continuing negative test re­sults, chickens have been allowed to be transported from Kampot.


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