Man’s Death Brings National Bird Flu Fatalities to 14 This Year

A 29-year-old man who died from bird flu last week become the 14th Cambodian to die from avian influenza so far this year, while a 3-year-old boy has recovered after treatment for the often-fatal disease, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization said in a joint statement Thursday.

Cambodia has reported the most cases of avian influenza in humans worldwide this year and the two latest cases of H5N1, which is transmitted by infected poultry, are the 25th and 26th reported cases so far.

There have been a total of nine other deaths in countries other than Cambodia, one of them in Vietnam, this year.

The 29-year-old man from Pailin’s Sala Krao district who died last week first showed symptoms of bird flu—which are similar to those of seasonal influenza—on October 26, the Ministry of Health and the WHO said.

“Treatment was provided to the case at a private clinic on lst November until his condition continued to deteriorate. On 3rd November, the case was admitted to Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital with fever, chills, headache, cough, chest pain,” the statement says.

On November 6, the patient was administered Tamiflu—the only retroviral drug recommended by the WHO for the treatment of bird flu—but died the same day.

The Institute Pasteur confirmed bird flu in a toddler from Kompong Speu province’s Samraong Tong district on Saturday. The child was taken to Kantha Bopha hospital in Phnom Penh on Friday last week and immediately treated for bird flu.

“The boy was admitted to Kantha Bopha Hospital, Phnom Penh, on 8th November 2013 with fever, cough, and dyspnoea. Laboratory samples were taken on 8 November and Tamiflu administered the same day,” the Ministry of Health and the WHO said in a statement.

Dr. Denis Laurent, deputy director of the Kantha Bopha hospitals, said that the boy was discharged Thursday.

“He is healthy now and we sent him back to Kompong Speu.”

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