An 11-year-old girl in Cambodia has died from bird flu in the country’s first known human H5N1 infection since 2014, health officials said.
Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, normally spreads in poultry and wasn’t deemed a threat to people until a 1997 outbreak among visitors to live poultry markets in Hong Kong. Most human cases worldwide have involved direct contact with infected poultry, but concerns have arisen recently about infections in a variety of mammals and the possibility the virus could evolve to spread more easily between people.
The girl from the rural southeastern province of Prey Veng became ill Feb. 16 and was sent to be treated at hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh. She was diagnosed Wednesday after suffering a fever up to 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) with coughing and throat pain and died shortly afterward, the Health Ministry said in a statement Wednesday night.