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Boy, 11, dies of avian flu in hospital: doctor

Boy, 11, dies of avian flu in hospital: doctor

Following the death of a 3-year-old due to avian flu on March 2, an 11-year-old boy died in Phnom Penh’s Kantha Bopha Hospital on Friday, a hospital representative said yesterday.

The boy, from Kampong Chhnang province, was one of two admitted to the hospital last week suffering from H5N1, according to Dr Denis Laurent.

“The good news is that the 8-year-old boy from Kandal province is in stable condition,” Laurent said.

Sok Touch, director of the Ministry of Health’s communicable diseases control department, and deputy director Ly Sovann, could not be reached yesterday.

Vicky Houssiere, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization in Cambodia, declined to confirm the two new cases of H5N1.

“We can’t confirm any new cases before the Ministry of Health releases a statement,” Houssiere said.

The news from Kantha Bopha comes on the heels of a joint statement released by ministry officials and the WHO on Friday, announcing the death of a three-year-old boy, who was the sixth confirmed case of avian influenza in Cambodia this year, and the 53rd person to become infected.

The boy, from Chom Chao commune in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district, was admitted to the National Pediatric Hospital on February 28, and transferred to Calmette Hospital on March 2, where he died an hour later, says Friday’s statement from the Ministry of Health and WHO.

“In mid-February, over 90 per cent of the chickens and small numbers of ducks suddenly died in the village,” the press release details.

“The boy was often going to a neighbour’s house where their poultry died. The relatives reported that the boy had no direct contact but the chickens died in close proximity to the house of the case.”

While three cases were confirmed in Phnom Penh last year, this case marks the first in the capital this year, Houssiere wrote in an email yesterday.

At least 22 cases of bird flu in Cambodia were recorded by the Ministry of Health last year, more than any previous year.

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