The Ministry of Health has dismissed “false” news that the recent cases of H5N1 bird flu in Prey Veng province were the result of human-to-human transmission.

In a press release, the ministry said that as of March 2 it had detected only two cases of H5N1 in Roleang village of Sithor Kandal district’s Romlech commune. One victim, an 11-year-old girl, died from the virus, while her father has since made a full recovery.

“It was concluded that both cases were the result of bird-to-human transmission,” it said.

The ministry dismissed any inaccurate or misleading information published regarding the H5N1 bird flu case in Cambodia by media outlets at home or abroad.

It said that as of March 2, a total of 51 samples – from 20 individuals who were in contact with the two cases and 31 individuals with flu-like symptoms – were collected for analysis. All of the samples tested negative for the bird flu virus.

A ministry research team is still present in Prey Veng province to monitor the situation. They will continue to collect samples from people with similar symptoms in order to rule out the presence of bird flu.

The ministry said the epidemiologist department at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge confirmed the presence of the A/H5N1 virus in the two original cases, using genome sequencing.

The ministry appealed to all media outlets to ensure that their reporting and coverage is based on accurate scientific evidence and factual information.

It said it will keep the public updated on developments of the virus via its website and social media channels.