by Staff Writers
Phnom Penh (AFP) March 1, 2013
Phnom Penh on Friday ordered urgent action to stem the "worrying" number of bird flu deaths in Cambodia, following a surge in the number of fatalities from the virus.
Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive for police, agriculture and health departments to join forces to combat the virus, which has killed eight people since the beginning of the year -- the worst recorded outbreak in a nation that has seen a total of 27 bird flu deaths in a decade.
"Although there have been preventive measures taken by specialist institutions, the spread and the rate of human deaths from bird flu is at a worrying level," the order said.
The latest fatality was a 35-year-old man who died this week after eating infected duck.
Friday's directive ordered a mass disinfection of all poultry farms and markets across the country, as well as efforts to monitor birds' health and to stop illicit cross-border poultry transportation.
Health officials have warned people to wash their hands frequently, to keep children away from poultry and to avoid eating infected birds.
The country has seen 30 recorded cases of the H5N1 virus -- all but three fatal -- since a major worldwide outbreak in 2003.
Bird flu has killed more than 365 people worldwide in the last ten years, according to WHO statistics.
It typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact. But experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to trigger a pandemic.
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|