The World Health Organisation (WHO) has provided 3,000 doses of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir capsules) for the treatment and prevention of avian influenza or bird flu to the Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department.

Cambodia detected two cases of H5N1 bird flu in February after an absence of infections in humans in the Kingdom since 2009, making the last cases the 58th and 59th ever found here.

“This medicine is aid from the WHO and will be used in response to the H5N1 bird flu outbreak in Prey Veng province or other provinces in the Kingdom,” announced CDC on February 28.

According to the CDC, so far only two case of bird flu have been confirmed in Cambodia. The first case was an 11-year-old girl who died after being infected. The second case was her father who has already recovered and was discharged from the hospital on February 28.

“According to the survey, it was found that both of them were infected from contact with birds in the village. There were no infections from the girl or her father,” the department stated.

No human-to-human spread of H5N1 has ever been known to have occurred in Cambodia or elsewhere. And if either of the cases found in this outbreak had been spread between humans, it would mark a serious upgrade in the dangers posed by the virus, officials said.

Ministry secretary of state Youk Sambath said the father was allowed to discharge from the hospital after his third negative test. However, medical teams required him to self-quarantine for two to three more days,

Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine called on people to be extra vigilant against H5N1 bird flu. She said the mortality rate for people infected with the virus, contracted due to contact with birds, was far higher than those infected with Covid-19, reaching 50 to 60 per cent versus Covid-19’s global mortality rate of roughly one per cent or less.

The health ministry found the H5N1 bird flu case in Prey Veng province on February 22 after it caused the death of an 11-year-old girl. She and her father were likely infected by contact with the family’s birds as 22 chickens and three ducks they owned died from the virus.

The father was asymptomatic and tested negative on February 27 after undergoing treatment and was discharged from the hospital on February 28.