PHNOM PENH, July 12 (Xinhua) — A three-year-old boy from Cambodia’s eastern Prey Veng province has been confirmed positive for the avian influenza H5N1, bringing the number of the cases to 14 so far this year, a joint statement by the World Health Organization and Cambodian Health Ministry said Friday.
Only five cases out of the 14 cases this year survived.
The 14th victim was confirmed positive for H5N1 on Wednesday, the statement said, adding that the boy was admitted to the Kantha Bopha Hospital with fever, dyspnea and cough Monday. “At the hospital, he was treated with Tamiflu and is currently in stable condition,”it said. “There were recent deaths among poultry in the village and the boy was likely to be exposed to sick and dead poultry before he became sick,”it added.
Avian influenza H5N1 remained a serious threat to the health of all Cambodians, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said. “Children also seem to be most vulnerable and are at high risk because they like to play where poultry are found,”he said in the statement.”I urge parents and guardians to keep children away from sick or dead poultry and make sure children wash their hands with soap and water after any contact with poultry.”
H5N1 influenza is a flu that normally spreads between sick poultry, but it can sometimes spread from poultry to humans, the statement said, adding that it is a very serious disease that requires hospitalization.
Cambodia sees the worst outbreak of the virus this year since the disease was first identified in 2004. To date, the country has recorded 35 human cases of the virus, killing 28 people.
Since 2003, there have been 633 laboratory confirmed human cases of H5N1 virus globally with 376 related deaths, the statement said.