A woman carries chickens to sell on a street near a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 09 February 2021. EFE-EPA FILE/MAK REMISSA

Two-year-old girl becomes third bird flu fatality in Cambodia this year

Bangkok, Oct 10 (EFE).- A 2-year-old girl has become the third person to die after contracting bird flu in Cambodia this year.

Chickens are displayed at a market in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 25 February 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/KITH SEREY

Tests confirmed that the girl had contracted H5N1, the Ministry of Health said in a statement about the death late Monday night.

Dead chickens were found at the house where the little girl lived with her parents in the southeastern province of Prey Veng.

Her death comes a day after that of a 50-year-old man in Svay Rieng province and another in February of an 11-year-old girl, also in Prey Veng, the first from this virus in the country since 2014.

As a result of the latest fatalities, the authorities have activated a national protocol with the aim of seeking the sources of transmission of the pathogen in both animals and humans.

Officials will “continue to look for suspected cases and exposure to prevent transmission to others in the community,” the Ministry of Health said.

At least 59 people in Cambodia have been infected by bird flu since 2005, of which 40 have died, according to official data.

“H5N1 bird flu continues to threaten the health of people, especially children,” the ministry emphasized, asking its citizens to be cautious and to inform authorities in the event of possible illness.

Bird flu is a disease that is normally transmitted from birds to humans through direct contact, although there are also rare cases of infection between humans, and it generally requires hospitalization. EFE