Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sixth human case of avian influenza in Cambodia 6 April 2006

The Ministry of Health in Cambodia confirmed that a 12-year-old boy is the sixth person who has been detected with confirmed avian influenza in Cambodia since early 2005. This is the second case of avian influenza detected in Cambodia in 2006. The boy was from Mesang district in Prey Veng province, which is approximately 120 km from the village of the 3 year old girl who died of avian influenza in March.

The boy became ill with a fever and headache on the 29 March and was brought to Phnom Penh on 1 April. The boy’s condition became worse and he was admitted to Calmette Hospital on 4 April. He died in the early hours of 5 April. Samples from the boy tested positive for influenza A/H5N1 virus at the Pasteur Institute of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

A team of investigators from the Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation and Pasteur Institute went to the field to determine his likely exposure and whether there were any more cases. A total of 25 contacts were identified during the investigation. None of the contacts have any clinical signs of avian influenza. The Ministry of Health will continue to go house to house in the affected area looking for people who have a fever, cough and contact with sick or dead chickens. Public education materials will also be distributed with the support of UNICEF.

The Ministry of Agriculture are conducting a detailed investigation into poultry deaths in the area around the village, but it appears that chickens and some ducks had been dying in the village before the boy became ill. The boy was known to have collected sick and dead chickens from around his house and this is the most likely source his of exposure.

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