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EPIDEMICS
Cambodia reports sixth bird flu death this year
by Staff Writers
Phnom Penh (AFP) Feb 13, 2013


A three-year-old Cambodian girl has died from bird flu, bringing the country's toll from the deadly virus to six so far this year, the World Health Organisation said Wednesday.

The girl, from the southern province of Kampot, died in a children's hospital in the capital Phnom Penh, the WHO said in a joint statement with the Cambodian health ministry.

Tests confirmed she had contracted the H5N1 strain of avian influenza and "the girl had a history of coming into contact with poultry (in her village) prior to becoming sick", it added.

Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in the statement that "H5N1 remains a serious threat to the health of Cambodians, especially children".

The country has recorded 28 cases of H5N1 since 2003, with all but three of them proving fatal.

Four Cambodians, including a 17-month-old girl, died from the strain last month and a five-year-old girl died last week.

The virus has killed more than 365 people worldwide since a major outbreak in 2003, 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.

Chinese woman dies of bird flu
Beijing (AFP) Feb 13, 2013 - A woman in southwestern China died of bird flu on Wednesday, state media said, a rare case in the country of a fatality from the H5N1 virus since a major outbreak a decade ago.

The 21-year-old patient from Guiyang passed away 13 days after showing symptoms, Xinhua news agency said, citing the health ministry.

Another city resident, a 31-year-old man who developed signs of the virus around the same time, was reported over the weekend to be in critical condition.

More than 365 people have died of bird flu globally since an 2003 outbreak, the World Health Organisation said in its latest report.

It noted that China has seen one fatal case per year since 2010, down from a total of 25 from 2003 to 2009.

The H5N1 virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form transmissible between humans.

Xinhua said neither of the Guiyang residents had come into close contact with birds and their cases appeared to be unrelated.

China is considered one of the nations most at risk from bird flu epidemics because it has the world's biggest poultry population and many chickens in rural areas are kept close to humans.

Separate outbreaks among birds were reported last year in the northern region of Ningxia and the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, prompting massive culls of chickens.

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EPIDEMICS
China reports two human cases of bird flu: state media
Beijing (AFP) Feb 10, 2013
China reported two human cases of bird flu in the southwestern city of Guiyang on Sunday, with both patients in a critical condition, the official Xinhua news agency said. A 21-year-old woman and 31-year-old man tested positive for the H5N1 bird flu virus on Sunday after developing symptoms on February 2 and February 3 respectively, Xinhua said. "They are in a critical condition and medi ... read more


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