Third Bird Flu Fatality Confirmed in Kampot

An 8-year-old girl from Kampot province, who died Thursday, is Cambodia’s third confirmed fatality due to avian influenza, officials and the World Health Organiza­tion said on Sunday.

Pasteur Institute tests, completed Friday, verified that In Sok Thach had the H5N1 virus.

All confirmed bird flu fatalities have so far been from the same prov­­ince.

In Sok Thach lived in Sre Treng village in Banteay Meas district’s Wat Ang Khang Cheung commune, said Dr Lim Kaing Eang, dir­ector of Kampot provincial health department.

The country’s first reported bird flu fatality, Tit Sakhan, 24, who died in January, was from Kam­pot’s Kompong Trach district. And Meas Ran, also known as Keo Sa­ran, 28, also hailed from Ban­teay Meas district. He died in March.

Lim Kaing Eang said he had “no idea” why all three Cam­bo­dian victims of bird flu have come from Kampot.

Dr Megge Miller, the WHO’s bird flu coordinator in Cambodia, said blood tests are being performed on four family members, three Kampot health workers and six workers in Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Hospital where the girl died.

“The family members and medical contacts and all appear to be well,” she said.

Miller said the Ministry of Health and the WHO have ruled out human-to-human transmission be­cause no one in the girl’s village has been sickened.

Yim Voeunthan, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, said his ministry has not culled any birds in the girl’s village be­cause there are no chickens left to kill. “The chickens died about three months ago. We do not know where she got the bird flu from,” he said.

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